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Megalithic Culture

Y-DNA G2a, I2, I2a

Megalithic Culture

Dolmens = tombs resembling “houses of the dead,” the walls are upright stones and the roof is a single giant slab

Cromlechs = a circle of large upright stones, or Dolmens

Menhirs = simplest megalithic form, unpright slabs that served as grave markers

Corbeling = rows or layers of stone laid with the end of each row projecting beyond the row beneath, progressing until layers almost meet and can be capped with a stone that rests on both layers

Haplogrupa I2 je glavni nosioc megalitne kulture na Mediteranu i Zapadnoj Europi.

Megalithic builders Y-DNA I2a

Megalithic Construction

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe


Zorats Karer

Zorats Karer, also called Karahunj or Carahunge) is an ancient archaeological site near the city of Sisian in the Syunik province of Armenia.

Zorats Karer


Nabta Playa

Nabta Playa was once a large basin in the Nubian Desert, located approximately 800 kilometers south of modern day Cairo or about 100 kilometers west of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt, 22° 32′ north, 30° 42′ east. Today the region is characterized by numerous archaeological sites.

Although at present the western Egyptian desert is totally dry, this was not the case in the past. There is good evidence that there were several humid periods in the past (when up to 500 mm of rain would fall per year) the most recent one during the last interglacial and early last glaciation periods which stretched between 130,000 and 70,000 years ago. During this time, the area was a savanna and supported numerous animals such as extinct buffalo and large giraffes, varieties of antelope and gazelle. Beginning around the 10th millennium BC, this region of the Nubian Desert began to receive more rainfall, filling a lake. Early people may have been attracted to the region due to the source of water.

Archaeological findings may indicate human occupation in the region dating to at least somewhere around the 10th and 8th millennia BC. Fred Wendorf and Christopher Ehret have suggested that the people who occupied this region at that time were early pastoralists, or like the Saami practiced semi-pastoralism (although this is disputed by other sources because the cattle remains found at Nabta have been shown to be morphologically wild in several studies, and nearby Saharan sites such as Uan Afada in Libya were penning wild Barbary sheep, an animal that was never domesticated). The people of that time consumed and stored wild sorghum, and used ceramics adorned by complicated painted patterns created perhaps by using combs made from fish bone and which belong to a general pottery tradition strongly associated with the southern parts of the sahara (e.g., of the Khartoum mesolithic and various contemporary sites in Chad) of that period.

Analysis of human remains by archaeologist Fred Wendorf and reported in “Holocene settlement of the Egyptian Sahara”, based on osteological data suggests a subsaharan origin for the site’s inhabitants. Several scholars also support a Nilo-Saharan linguistic affinity for the Nabta people; including the site’s discoverer, archaeologist Fred Wendorf and the linguist, Christopher Ehret.

By the 7th millennium BC, exceedingly large and organized settlements were found in the region, relying on deep wells for sources of water. Huts were constructed in straight rows. Sustenance included fruit, legumes, millets, sorghum and tubers.

Also in the late 7th millennium BC, but a little later than the time referred to above, imported goats and sheep, apparently from Southwest Asia, appear. Many large hearths also appear.

By the 6th millennium BC, evidence of a prehistoric religion or cult appears, with a number of sacrificed cattle buried in stone-roofed chambers lined with clay. It has been suggested that the associated cattle cult indicated in Nabta Playa marks an early evolution of Ancient Egypt’s Hathor cult.

By the 5th millennium BC these peoples had fashioned one of the world’s earliest known archeoastronomical devices (roughly contemporary to the Goseck circle in Germany and the Mnajdra megalithic temple complex in Malta). Research suggests that it may have been a prehistoric “calendar” marking the summer solstice.

Nabta Playa



Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in the English county of Wiltshire, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, as described in the chronology below. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.

Archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2008 indicates that Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. The dating of cremated remains found on the site indicate that deposits contain human bone from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug. Such deposits continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years. The site is a place of religious significance and pilgrimage in Neo-Druidry.





Neolithic circular enclosures in Central Europe


Reconstruction of circular ditches at Heldenberg, Lower Austria

Neolithic circular enclosures in Central Europe


Goseck circle, c. 4900 BC

Drawing of the Goseck circle.
The yellow lines represent the direction in which the sun rises and sets at the winter solstice,
while the vertical line shows the astronomical meridian.

The structures known as Circular Enclosures built in Central Europe during the 5th millennium BCE have been interpreted as serving a cultic function. In the case of the Goseck circle. Many of these structures had openings aligned with sunset and/or sunrise at the solstices, suggesting that they served as a means of maintaining a lunisolar calendar. The construction of Megalithic monuments in Europe also began in the 5th millennium, and continued throughout the Neolithic and in some areas well into the early Bronze Age.

  • Astronomy


Stone circle

Stone circle

  • Megalithic builders - Astronomy

Maritime route of colonization of Europe

The Neolithic populations, which colonized Europe approximately 9,000 y ago, presumably migrated from Near East to Anatolia and from there to Central Europe through Thrace and the Balkans. An alternative route would have been island hopping across the Southern European coast. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed genome-wide DNA polymorphisms on populations bordering the Mediterranean coast and from Anatolia and mainland Europe. We observe a striking structure correlating genes with geography around the Mediterranean Sea with characteristic east to west clines of gene flow. Using population network analysis, we also find that the gene flow from Anatolia to Europe was through Dodecanese, Crete, and the Southern European coast, compatible with the hypothesis that a maritime coastal route was mainly used for the migration of Neolithic farmers to Europe.

La Almagra pottery, c. 5000 BC

Y-DNA E-M78, G2a, I2, I2a


La Almagra pottery


Los Millares, c. 3000 - 1000 BC

Los Millares


Atlantic Megalithic Culture

c. 7000 to 4000 ybp; Western Europe

  • Deguilloux et al. (2010) examined skeletons from the Péré tumulus, a megalithic long mound (4200 BCE) in Brittany, and retrieved the mtDNA of three individuals. They belonged to haplogroup N1a, U5b and X2.
  • Sampietro et al. (2007) analysed the HVRI mitochondrial DNA sequences of 11 Neolithic remains from the Cami de Can Grau site (3500 BCE) in Granollers, Catalonia, Spain. Four skeletons belonged to haplogroup H (including three CRS, which could be non-results), two to J, two to T2, one to U4, one to I1 and one to W1.
  • In a study focusing mostly on the site of Tell Halula in Syria, Fernández et al. (2008) also tested two skeletons from the Nerja caves near Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. The first individual (3875 BCE) carried the mutations 16126C 16264T 16270T 16278T 16293G 16311C, and the second 16129A, 16264T, 16270T, 16278T, 16293G, 16311C. Both sequences could correspond either to haplogroup H11a (typical of Central Europe) or more probably L1b1 (found in the Canaries and Northwest Africa).
  • In one pioneering ancient DNA study N. Izagirre and C. de la Rua (1999) of the University of the Basque Country, analysed the mtDNA variations in 121 dental samples from four Basque prehistoric sites. Among them, 61 samples from the late Neolithic site of San Juan Ante Portam Latinam (3300-3042 BCE) in Araba were found to belong to haplogroups H (23 samples), J (10 samples), U (11 samples), K (14 samples) and T or X (3 samples). The site of Pico Ramos (2790-2100 BCE) in Bizkaia yielded 24 results including haplogroups H (9 samples), J (4 samples), U (3 samples), K (4 samples) and T or X (4 samples). The site of Longar (2580-2450 BCE) in Nafarroa had 27 individuals H (11 samples), U (4 samples), K (6 samples), T or X (4 samples) and two other unidentified haplogroups. Finally, the site of Tres Montes in Navarra (2130 BCE) possessed 3 samples that appeared to belong to haplogroup L2 and two others that were undetermined (16224C and 16126C+16311C). The authors noted the conspicuous absence of haplogroup V, now present at a relatively high frequency among the Basques (6.5%).
  • Fernández et al. (2005) tested the mtDNA of remains from the Abauntz site (2240 BCE) in Navarra. All three samples retrieved were inconclusive regarding the mitochondrial haplogroup. One sample was CRS (no mutation found). Another had 16126C+16311C, which would be R0a, HV0a or a subclade of H, among many other possibilities. The last one (16256T) could be H1x, H14 or even U5a.
  • Hervella et al. (2012) tested 48 mtDNA samples from northern Spain dating from 6,185 to 5,160 ybp. Among the 41 Early Neolithic samples from Los Cascajos and Paternanbidea (Navarre), they observed 2 members of haplogroup H3 (or possibly H1a1), 8 H, HV or R0 (CRS), 4 other H, 1 HV, 1 U5, 8 U, 4 K, 2 J, 1 T2, 1 I and 1 X. Among the remaining seven Middle Neolithic samples, one from Marizulo (Gipuzkoa) belong to U5, while the six from Fuente Hoz (Alava) belonged to H (2, including one rCRS) and U (4 samples, including one U5a).

Haplogroup I1 expansion

y-Haplogroup I1 STR "Cluster" Analysis


Funnelbeaker culture, c. 4300 - 2800 BC

Lactose tolerance

Funnelbeaker culture

Represents a merger between the Neolithic agricultural society derived form the LBK culture and Mesolithic (hunter-gatherer) lifestyle, in southern Scandinavia, the Netherlands, northern Germany and Poland.

The culture owes its name to the distictive collared flask ceramic, perhaps a precursor of the Bell-beaker ceramic that would spread across the western half of Europe from 2800 BCE.

Neolithic agricultural economy dominated by animal husbandry of sheep, cattle, pigs and goats that grazed in a demarcated piece of land around the farmers' houses. Cow milk was consumed and oxen were used for heavy work. TRB people also complemented their diet through hunting and fishing. Primitive wheat and barley was grown on small patches that were quickly depleted. Flintstone was mined, notably in southern Sweden, to make flint axes. Copper daggers and axes were imported from Central Europe.

People lived in wooden longhouses with clay walls and thatched roofs. They were centered around a monumental grave, which acted as a symbol of social cohesion. Villages were located close to those of the preceding Mesolithic Ertebølle culture, near the coastline.

Marks the appearance of Megalithic tombs and passage graves (from 3,400 BCE in Denmark) along the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, apparently as an eastward expansion of the Atlantic Megalithic cultures, with which it was later unified within the Bell-Beaker trading network. Hundreds of megaliths have been uncovered, with particularly high concentrations in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel, in the Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony, around Haldensleben in Saxony-Anhalt, and on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Burials included ceramic vessels that contained food, amber jewelery and flint axes.

Funnel-beaker people reached a height of 165 cm for men and 153 cm for women in average. They rarely lived over 35 or 40 years old.

Variants of the Funnelbeaker culture in or near the Elbe catchment area include the Tiefstich pottery group in northern Germany as well as the Baalberge group (TRB-MES II and III; MES = Mittelelbe-Saale), the Salzmünde group and Walternienburg-Bernburg group (all TRB-MES IV) in Saxony-Anhalt.


A DNA study conducted on the 5000-year-old skeletal remains of three Middle Neolithic seal hunters from Gotland showed that they were related to modern-day Finns, while a female farmer known as "Gök4" from a megalithic tomb in Gökhem parish in Västergötland on the mainland was found to be more closely related to modern-day Mediterraneans, specifically inhabitants of Cyprus and Sardinia. This is consistent with the spread of agricultural peoples from the Middle East at about that time.

  • Malmström et al. (2009) tested three mtDNA sequences from a megalithic site (3500-2500 BCE) in Gökhem, Sweden. They identified haplogroups H, J and T.
  • Bramanti et al. (2009) tested seven skeletal materials from Ostorf (3200-3000 BCE) in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, and identified the haplogroups as U5 (3 samples including one U5a), K and T2e (2 samples) and J.
  • We suggest; Y-DNA I1, I2 & C1a


Windmill Hill culture, c. 3000 BC - Skara Brae, c. 3180 - 2500 BC

We suggest; Y-DNA I2, R1b

The Windmill Hill culture was a name given to a people inhabiting southern Britain, in particular in the Salisbury Plain area close to Stonehenge, c. 3000 BC. They were an agrarian Neolithic people. Together with another Neolithic tribe from East Anglia, a tribe whose worship involved stone circles, it is thought that they were responsible for the earliest work on the Stonehenge site.

The material record left by these people includes large circular hill-top enclosures, causewayed enclosures, long barrows, leaf-shaped arrowheads and polished stone axes. They raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and dogs, and grew wheat and mined flints.

Skara Brae







Europe late bronze age


Wessex culture, c. 2000 - 1400 BC

We suggest; Y-DNA I2 & R1b

Wessex culture - Stonehenge


Nuragic civilisation, c. 1800 BC

The Nuragic civilization was a civilization in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, which lasted from the 18th century BC (Bronze Age) to the 2nd century AD. The civilization's name derives from its most characteristic monument, the nuraghe, a tower-fortress type of construction built in numerous exemplars starting from about 1800 BC.


The Sherden one of the most important tribes of the sea peoples, are to be identified with the Nuragic Sardinians. Simonides of Ceos and Plutarch spoke of raids by Sardinians against the island of Crete, in the same period in which the Sea People invaded Egypt. This would at least confirm that Nuragic Sardinians frequented the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Further proofs come from 13th-century Nuragic ceramics found at Tiryns, Kommos, Kokkinokremnos and in Sicily, at Lipari and the Agrigento area, along the sea route linking western to eastern Mediterranean.

Sardinian warrior figure - Model of Nuragic ship


Nuragic civilisation, c. 3800 to 1850 ybp; Sardinia

The team of Caramelli et al. (2007) and Ghirotto et al. (2010) tested 23 HVR-1 mtDNA sequences from Bronze Age Sardinia (ranging from 1430 to 930 BCE) to compare them to modern Sardinian sequences. They found 11 ancient samples belonging probably to haplogroup H (including 6 CRS, which could ne non-result), one HV0 (reported as V), two U2 (or possibly H1a3), one J, three samples with the mutation 16129C that can correspond to H1j, H17 or possibly even U, and two samples with the mutation 16223T that do not permit to assign a haplogroup unambiguously.

Early neolithic in Europe, c. 6000 to 5000 BC - Eupedia


Early neolithic in Europe, c. 6000 to 5000 BC


Suggested of early neolithic cultures with Y-DNA haplogroups

Kongemose culture: C1a, I Kunda culture: N1, C1a
Tardenoisian culture: C1a, I, I2, I2a Bug-Dniester culture: H2
Cardium pottery culture: E-V13, G2a, I2a Caucasian neolithic: J-M304
Thessalien neolithic: G2a, H2, I2a, T1a Anatolian neolithic: G2a, I2, I2a, T1a
Neolithic Greece: G2a, I2, I2a, T1a Hassuna culture: E-V13, G2, I2 I2a, L-M20, T1a
La Almagra pottery: E-M78, G2a, I2, I2a    Amuq-Byblos: E-V13, G2, I2 I2a, T1a

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