Paleolithic Europe

The spreading of early modern humans (red) from Africa, based on genetic studies. In Europe, the first modern humans (Cro-Magnons) would have encountered the Neanderthals.


Cro-Magnon, c 40000 BC


Cro-magnon skull - Cro-Magnons

Cro-Magnonss were anatomically modern, straight limbed and tall compared to the contemporaneous Neanderthals. They are thought to have stood on average 176.2 cm (5 feet 9 1⁄3 inches) tall. They differ from modern-day humans in having a more robust physique and a slightly larger cranial capacity. The Cro-Magnons had fairly low skulls, with wide faces, robust mandibles, blunted chins, narrow noses, and moderate to no prognathism. A distinctive trait was the rectangular eye orbits, similar to modern Ainu people. Their vocal apparatus was like that of present-day humans and they could speak.

Migration of modern humans into Europe, based on simulation by Currat & Excoffier (2004)


Mitochondrial DNA analysis places the early European population as sister group to the Asian groups, dating the divergence to some 50,000 years ago. The very light skin tone found in modern Northern Europeans is a relatively recent phenomenon, and may have appeared in the European line as recently as 12 to 6 thousand years ago (10,000 - 4,000 BCE), indicating Cro-Magnons had dark skin. Sequencing of finds of the late post-ice-age hunter-gatherer populations in Europe indicate that some Cro-Magnons likely had blue eyes and dark hair, and a "black" complexion.

A 2003 sequencing on the mitochondrial DNA of two Cro-Magnons (23,000-year-old Paglicci 52 and 24,720-year-old Paglicci 12) identified the mtDNA as Haplogroup N.

  • We suggest; Y-DNA CF

Y-chromosome C

Y-chromosome C

Cave painting


Although Haplogroup C-M130 attains its highest frequencies among the indigenous populations of Mongolia, the Russian Far East, Polynesia, Australia, and at moderate frequency in Korea and Manchu people, it displays its highest diversity among modern populations of India. It is therefore hypothesized that Haplogroup C-M130 either originated or underwent its longest period of evolution within India or the greater South Asian coastal region. The highest diversity is observed in Southeast Asia, and its northward expansion in East Asia started approximately 40,000 years ago.

Males carrying C-M130 are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years before present, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America.

We suggest; Y-DNA C-M130 Norden Eurasia, c. 40000 BC


Y-chromosome F

Y-chromosome F

Picture of a half-human, half-animal being in a Paleolithic cave painting in Dordogne, France.


It is estimated that the SNP M89 appeared 38,700–55,700 years ago, most likely in South Asia. This theory has all but superseded previous research, which suggested that F-M89 first appeared in the Arabian Peninsula, Levant or North Africa, about 43,800–56,800 years ago, and may, therefore, have represented a "second wave" of expansion out of Africa. The location of this lineage's first expansion and rise to prevalence appears to have been in the Indian Subcontinent, or somewhere close to it, and most of the descendant subclades and haplogroups appear to have radiated outward from South Asia and/or neighbouring parts of the Middle East and South East Asia.

Some lineages derived from Haplogroup F-M89 appear to have back-migrated into Africa from Southwest Asia, during prehistory. Subclades of F-M89 associated with this hypothetical "Back to Africa" migration include J, R1b, and T.

We suggest; Black sea - Pontic steppe

Paleolithic cultures in Europe

We suggest; Y-DNA CF

We suggest; Y-DNA F-M89 & I-M170

We suggest; Y-DNA C-M130

The Art of the Upper Paleolithic includes carvings on antler and bone, especially of animals, as well as the so-called Venus figurines and cave paintings.

Aurignacian, c. 43-26 ka / Gravettian, c. 33-24 ka

We suggest; Y-DNA F-M89 & I-M170


Aurignacian flute made from a vulture bone, Geissenklösterle (Swabia), which is about 35 ka

Venus de Lespugue (replica) c. 26-24 ka
Löwenmensch figurine is the oldest known anthropomorphic animal figurine in the world.

Venus of Willendorf c. 25 ka - Venus of Laussel c. 25 ka


Epigravettian, c. 21-10 ka


The spreading of early modern humans (red) from Africa, based on genetic studies. In Europe, the first modern humans (Cro-Magnons) would have encountered the Neanderthals.


Sungir, c. 32050 - 28550 BC


Graves 1 and 2 at Sungir are described as "the most spectacular" among European Gravettian burials. The adult male was buried in what is called Grave 1 and the two adolescent children in Grave 2, placed head-to-head, together with an adult femur filled with red ochre. The three people buried at Sungir were all adorned with elaborate grave goods that included ivory-beaded jewelry, clothing, and spears. More than 13,000 beads were found (which would have taken 10,000 hours to produce). Red ochre, an important ritual material associated with burials at this time, covered the burials.


Land with four rivers

Danube, Dniester, Dnieper, Don

Mal'ta–Buret' culture, c. 22000 - 13000 BC


MA-1 is the only known example of Y-DNA R* (R-M207*) – that is, the only member of haplogroup R* that did not belong to haplogroups R1, R2 or secondary subclades of these. The mitochondrial DNA of MA-1 belonged to an unresolved subclade of haplogroup U. - Mal'ta–Buret' culture

Solutrean, c. 20000 - 15000 BC


The Solutrean hypothesis builds on similarities between the Solutrean industry and the later Clovis culture / Clovis points of North America, and suggests that people with Solutrean tool-technology crossed the Ice Age Atlantic by moving along the pack ice edge, using survival skills similar to those of modern Eskimo people. The migrants arrived in northeastern North America and served as the donor culture for what eventually developed into Clovis tool-making technology.


Magdalenian, c. 15000 - 10000 BC



Haplogroup C, was found on human remains belonging to the culture and on individuals of the Magdalenian and Azilian cultures.

Madelenian humans appears to have been of low stature, dolichocephalic, with low retreating forehead and prominent brow ridges.

Magdalenian tools and weapons

Magdalenian Girl

Followed by Azilian, Ahrensburg culture & Swiderian culture


Creswellian culture, c. 11000 - 9800 BC

It is also known as the British Late Magdalenian. - Creswellian culture



Téviec Tomb

Many tools made of bone and antler were found along with numerous flint microliths. They were originally believed to date to 6575 years BP (± 350 years) but have now been dated to between 6740 and 5680 years BP. This indicates a longer occupation than previously thought, with its end coming at the beginning of the Neolithic period.

Ten multiple graves were discovered at Téviec containing a total of 23 individuals, including adults and children. Some of the remains were scattered between different locations. Several of those interred appear to have died violent deaths. One individual was found to have a flint arrowhead stuck in a vertebra. In another grave, the skeletons of two women aged 25–35, dubbed the "ladies of Téviec", were found with signs of violence on both. One had sustained five blows to the head, two of which would have been fatal, and had received at least one arrow shot between the eyes. The other had also traces of injuries. However, this diagnosis is disputed by some archaeologists, who have suggested that the weight of earth above the grave may have been responsible for damaging the skeletons.

The bodies had been buried with great care in a pit that was partly dug into the ground and covered over with debris from the midden. They had been protected by a roof made of antlers and provided with a number of grave goods including pieces of flint and boar bones, and jewellery made of sea shells drilled and assembled into necklaces, bracelets and ringlets for the legs. - Téviec

Meteorite storm, c. 11000 - 10000 BC

Meteorite storm 'smashed the Earth 12,000 years ago and killed off a prehistoric people' - Meteorite storm - Holocene Mass Extinction


The questionable contribution of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age to European craniofacial form C. Loring Brace*, Noriko Seguchi  Conrad B. Quintyn, Sherry C. Fox, A. Russell Nelson, Sotiris K. Manolis, and Pan Qifeng *Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; Department of Anthropology, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812; Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301; Weiner Laboratory, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, GR-106 76 Athens, Greece; || Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; ** Faculty of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, GR-157 81 Athens, Greece; and Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100710, People's Republic of China Communicated by Kent V. Flannery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, November 11, 2005 (received for review September 20, 2005)

Many human craniofacial dimensions are largely of neutral adaptive significance, and an analysis of their variation can serve as an indication of the extent to which any given population is genetically related to or differs from any other. When 24 craniofacial measurements of a series of human populations are used to generate neighbor-joining dendrograms, it is no surprise that all modern European groups, ranging all of the way from Scandinavia to eastern Europe and throughout the Mediterranean to the Middle East, show that they are closely related to each other. The surprise is that the Neolithic peoples of Europe and their Bronze Age successors are not closely related to the modern inhabitants, although the prehistoric/modern ties are somewhat more apparent in southern Europe. It is a further surprise that the Epipalaeolithic Natufian of Israel from whom the Neolithic realm was assumed to arise has a clear link to Sub-Saharan Africa. Basques and Canary Islanders are clearly associated with modern Europeans. When canonical variates are plotted, neither sample ties in with Cro-Magnon as was once suggested. The data treated here support the idea that the Neolithic moved out of the Near East into the circum-Mediterranean areas and Europe by a process of demic diffusion but that subsequently the in situ  residents of those areas, derived from the Late Pleistocene inhabitants, absorbed both the agricultural life way and the people who had brought it.

Mesolithic Europe c. 10000 BC

The Mesolithic began with the Holocene warm period around 11,660 BP and ended with the introduction of farming, the date of which varied in each geographical region. Regions that experienced greater environmental effects as the last glacial period ended have a much more apparent Mesolithic era, lasting millennia. In northern Europe, for example, societies were able to live well on rich food supplies from the marshlands created by the warmer climate. Such conditions produced distinctive human behaviors that are preserved in the material record, such as the Maglemosian and Azilian cultures. Such conditions also delayed the coming of the Neolithic until as late as 5000–4000 BC in northern Europe.

As the "Neolithic package" (including farming, herding, polished stone axes, timber longhouses and pottery) spread into Europe, the Mesolithic way of life was marginalized and eventually disappeared. Mesolithic adaptations such as sedentism, population size and use of plant foods are cited as evidence of the transition to agriculture. In one sample from the Blätterhöhle in Hagen, it seems that the descendants of Mesolithic people maintained a foraging lifestyle for more than 2000 years after the arrival of farming societies in the area. In north-Eastern Europe, the hunting and fishing lifestyle continued into the Medieval period in regions less suited to agriculture. - Mesolithic


Sauveterrian, Tardenoisian & contemporary cultures

10500 to 6500 ybp; West & Southwest Europe

  • Chandler et al. (2005) recovered 8 mtDNA sequences from several Mesolithic sites from the Sado estuary in central Portugal, and identified 4 individuals belonging haplogroup H (including one H1b and one possible H7), 2 to haplogroup U (U4 and U5b1c2) and 2 to haplogroup N (probably N1b and N5). Their age range from 9,500 to 7,500 ybp.
  • Delsate et al. (2009) analysed the mtDNA of the Reuland-Loschbour man (8,000 ybp) from Luxembourg and assigned him to haplogroup U5a.
  • In 1996, Bryan Sykes of Oxford University first sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of the 9,000-year-old Cheddar Man from Gough's Cave in Cheddar (Somerset), England, and assigned him to haplogroup U5.
  • Hervella et al. (2012) tested one mtDNA samples from Aizpea (Navarre) dated from 6,600 ybp, and found it to belong to haplogroup U5b1.

Ahrensburg culture, c. 10000 - 9000 BC / Swiderian culture, c. 11000 - 8200 BC

We suggest; Y-DNA C1a, I-M170

Ahrensburg culture - Swiderian culture


Maglemosian culture, c. 9000 - 6000 BC

Maglemosian culture

Followed by Kongemose culture, c. 6000 - 5200 BC, Ertebølle kultura & Swifterbant culture


Swifterbant culture, 5300 BC - 3400 BC

The Swifterbant culture was a mesolithic archaeological culture in the Netherlands. Like the Ertebølle culture, the settlements were concentrated near water, in this case creeks, riverdunes and bogs along post-glacial banks of rivers like the Overijsselse Vecht.

The culture is ancestral to the Western group of the agricultural Funnelbeaker culture (4000–2700 BC), which extended through Northern Netherlands and Northern Germany to the Elbe.

A transition from hunter-gatherer culture to cattle farming, primarily cows and pigs, occurred around 4800–4500 BC. Pottery has been attested from this period. In the region indications to the existence of pottery are present from before the arrival of the Linear Pottery culture in the neighbourhood. The material culture reflects a local evolution from Mesolithic communities, with a pottery in a Nordic (Ertebølle) style and trade relationships with southern late Rössen culture communities, as testified by the presence of true Breitkeile pottery sherds. - Swifterbant culture


Ertebølle culture, c. 5300 - 3950 BC

European middle neolithic - Ertebølle kultura

Similar cultures

The Ertebølle culture is of a general type called Late Mesolithic, of which other examples can be found in Swifterbant culture, Zedmar culture, Narva culture and in Russia. Some would include the Nøstvet culture and Lihult culture to the north as well. The various locations seem fragmented and isolated, but that characteristic may be an accident of discovery. Perhaps if all the submarine sites were known, a continuous coastal culture would appear from the Netherlands to the lakes of Russia, but it has yet to be demonstrated.


Maglemosian-Kongemose, Kunda-Narva, Neman-Zedmar and related cultures

11500 to 5000 ybp; North & Northeast Europe

Bramanti et al. (2009) tested Mesolithic remains from several locations across Europe, and found one haplogroup U5a (9,800 ybp) at the Chekalino site in the Volga-Ural region of Russia, one U5a1 (10,000 to 8,000 ybp) at the Lebyazhinka site in the Middle Volga region of Russia, one U5b2 (9,200 ybp) at the Falkensteiner Höhle cave in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, one U5a2a and one U5b2 (both 8,700 ybp) at the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, one U4 (8,850 ybp) at Bad Dürrenberg in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, one U4 and one U5b2 (both 8350 ybp) from the Kunda Culture in Lithuania, two U5b2 (both 6450 ybp) from the Narva Culture in Lithuania, two U5b1 (6,000 to 5,000 ybp) from the Zedmar Culture in Poland and one U5a (4,250 ybp) from the Drestwo site in northeast Poland.

Balanovsky et al. (2012) tested 19 ancient mtDNA sequences from Gotland, Sweden. They identified 8 individuals belonging haplogroup U4, 6 to haplogroup U5 (including three U5a), one to haplogroup V, one to haplogroup K, one to haplogroup T. No haplogroup could be attributed for the last 2 samples based on the HVR test alone (16311C).


Yukaghir people

Y-chromosome C

Yukaghir people

Haplogroup I2a & R1b

Haplogroup I2a
Haplogroup R1b


Lepenski Vir, c. 9500 - 6000 BC

Y-DNA I2a & R1b

Lepenski Vir

The latest radiocarbon and AMS data suggests that the chronology of Lepenski Vir is compressed between 9500/7200-6000 BC. There is some disagreement about the early start of the settlement and culture of Lepenskir Vir. But the latest data suggest 9500-7200 to be the start. The late Lepenskir Vir (6300-6000 BC) architectural development was the development of the Trapezoidal buildings and monumental sculpture. The Lepenskir Vir site consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages. Numerous piscine sculptures and peculiar architecture have been found at the site.

Lepenski Vir sculptures


Lepenski Vir - Colombia - Lepenski Vir

The Mesolithic statues of Lepenski Vir at the Iron Gate, Serbia date to the 7th millennium BCE and represent either humans or mixtures of humans and fish. Simple pottery began to develop in various places, even in the absence of farming.

1. 9500-7300 p.n.e. rani i srednji mezolit – Proto-Lepenski Vir I-II

2. 7300-6200 p.n.e. kasni mezolit (u ovoj fazi nisu zabeleženi tragovi okupacije na lokalitetu Lepenski Vir, ali je faza dobro reprezentovana nalazima sa Vlasca, Padine i Hajdučke Vodenice)

3. 6150-5950 p.n.e. transformacioni/rani neolit – Lepenski Vir I-II

4. 5950-5500 p.n.e. srednji neolit – Lepenski Vir III

Analiza uzoraka sa četiri lokaliteta kulture Lepenskog Vira pokazuje nam da su njeni stanovnici nosili ipsilon (I+R1b=100%) i mitohondrijalne haplogrupe (U5+U4+U8=80%) koje su i ranije nalažene kod paleolitskih i mezolitskih lovaca-sakupljača širom Evrope. Ono po čemu su se razlikovali od njih upravo je prisustvo nekih mitohondrijalnih haplogrupa (K1+H+J2=20%) čije se dalje poreklo vezuje za Bliski Istok, i za koje se smatra ili da su došle direktno sa najranijim neolitskim zemljoradnicima iz Anadolije, ili da su bile prisutne među lovcima-sakupljačima jugoistočnog Balkana i Anadolije, koji su među prvima apsorbovani u najranije neolitsko stanovništvo po njegovom dolasku na Balkan. Drugoj teoriji u prilog ide i činjenica da je haplogrupa K1 takođe pronađena i kod dva grčka mezolitska uzorka iz Tesalije. I po autozomalnoj genetici nosioci kulture Lepenskog Vira bili su, pogotovo u starijoj mezolitskoj fazi, jako slični lovcima-sakupljačima iz zapadne i centralne Evrope. Dva uzorka iz Lepenskog Vira (I4665 i I4666), koji se datiraju u period ranog neolita – Lepenski Vir I-II, su po autozomalnoj genetici skoro identični najranijim anadolskim i balkanskim zemljoradnicima, a jedan uzorak iz Padine (I5232) iz istog perioda imao je skoro podjednak udeo genetike mezolitskih lovaca-sakupljača i neolitskih zemljoradnika. Indikativno je da su sva tri uzorka sa značajnim udelom genetike neolitskih zemljoradnika takođe bili nosioci neolitskih mitohondrijalnih haplogrupa koje nisu prisutne kod lovaca-sakupljača iz ranijih perioda. Sve ovo nam govori da je Đerdapska klisura bila jedan od regiona gde je došlo do uspostavljanja najranijih kontakata, kako kulturnih tako i genetskih, između mezolitskih lovaca-sakupljača i ranih neolitskih zemljoradnika. Ovi nalazi podupiru ranije arheološke dokaze, koji su ukazivali da je u periodu ranog neolita došlo do određenih promena u materijalnoj kulturi (pojava keramike, sahranjivanje pokojnika u zgrčenom položaju), uzrokovanih prilivom novog stanovništva. Analize izotopa stroncijuma su takođe pokazale da su mnoge individue sahranjene posle 6100. p.n.e. u Lepenskom Viru (uključujući i uzorak I4665) bile nelokalnog porekla, odnosno da nisu bile originalno iz regiona Đerdapske klisure. Još jedna zanimljiva činjenica koja se može izvući iz ovih rezultata je da su prvobitni kontakti dve populacije po svoj prilici bili jednosmerni, tj. da su zemljoradničke pridošlice bile velikim delom ili u potpunosti ženskog pola, jer ni u jednom uzorku nisu pronađene ipsilon haplogrupe karakteristične za najranije neolitske zemljoradnike (G2a2, H2, C1a2, I2c, J2, T1a).

Göbekli Tepe, c. 9500 - 7000 BC

First Temple

Göbekli Tepe





Zodiac - Bull - Serpent

Zodiac - Bull - Serpent

Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill”) is a Neolithic hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, some 15 kilometers (9 mi) northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa (formerly Urfa / Edessa). It is the oldest known human-made religious structure. The site was most likely erected in the 10th millennium BCE and has been under excavation since 1994 by German and Turkish archaeologists. Together with Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionized understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic. The PPN A settlement has been dated to c. 9000 BCE. There are remains of smaller houses from the PPN B and a few epipalaeolithic finds as well.


12 Tribes

12 pillars - 12 tribes

Y-chromosomal Adam
A00 A0-T
A0 A1
A1a A1b
A1b1 BT
F1  F2  F3  GHIJK
IJ   K
I       LT  K2
L T NO K2b    K2c  K2d  K2
 O   K2b1      P
K2b1a   K2b1b  K2b1c  M P1 P2
K2b1a1   K2b1a2   K2b1a3 S Q R


Twelve Olympians and Titans

1. Y-DNA GHIJK > Y-DNA G   7. Y-DNA K2 > Y-DNA N & O
2. Y-DNA HIJK > Y-DNA H   8. Y-DNA K2b
3. Y-DNA IJK > Y-DNA K   9. Y-DNA K2b1 > Y-DNA M & S
4. Y-DNA IJ > Y-DNA J   10. Y-DNA P
5. Y-DNA I > Y-DNA I2 > Y-DNA I2a Europoid   11. Y-DNA P1 > Y-DNA Q
6. Y-DNA K > Y-DNA L & T   12. Y-DNA R > Y-DNA R1 > Y-DNA R1a & R1b Europoid

Twelve Olympians and Titans - Grek Gods

c. 9000 - 7000 BC


Origins Europoid

Y-DNA R1a, R1b & I2a

We suggest; Kamyana Mohyla (Zaporizhia Oblast) Y-DNA R1a, R1b & Çatalhöyük (Anatolia) Y-DNA I2a

Kifishin compared the petroglyphs of Kamenna Mohyla to those of Çatalhöyük and concluded that both were related to the Sumerian cuneiform script.

c. 9000 - 7000 BC

Mesolithic Europe - Eupedia

Following the end of the last Ice Age approximately 12,000 years ago, European hunter-gatherers recolonised the continent from the Ice Age refugia in southern Europe. The vast majority of Mesolithic Europeans would have belonged to Y-haplogroup I. This included I* (the * means that no further subclade was identified), pre-I1, I1, I2*, I2a*, I2a2, I2c, but the most widespread appears to have been I2a1, which was found in most parts of Europe. Northeast Europeans would have belonged mostly to haplogroup R1a, and to a lower extent also I2a2 and R1b. Other minor male lineages were certainly also present in parts of Europe, notably haplogroup A1a, C-V20, and possibly even Q1a.

The maternal lineages of Mesolithic Europeans appears to have been predominantly U4 and U5, but also included several H subclades (H1, H3, H17), T, U2 (U2d et U2e) and V. The presence of mt-haplogroups I and W in Eastern Europe or the North Caucasus is possible but hasn't been confirmed yet.

Based on their modern distributions, mtDNA haplogroups H10 and H11 might well have Mesolithic/Palaeolithic European origins.

There seem to have been several Palaeolithic and/or Mesolithic migrations from Northwest Africa to Iberia. The oldest might have brought West African paternal haplogroup A1a to Western and Northern Europe during the Palaeolithic. A1a has been found in modern populations as far north as Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia and Finland. The presence of African maternal lineages (L2, L3 and possibly L1b1) has been attested in Neolithic Iberia. Northwest Africans would also have brought U6 and possibly HV0/V lineages to Europe.

A small percentage of sub-Saharan African admixture has been identified in Late Mesolithic Swedes from the Pitted Ware culture (2800-2000 BCE), which would imply that A1a was already present in northern Europe at the time. Another Mesolithic sample from Loschbour in Luxembourg had dark hair and considerably darker skin than modern Europeans.

Distribution map of Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroup in and around Europe circa 8000 BCE - Eupedia

We suggest;

  • Y-DNA I2; First Cattle Herders, Lactose tolerance
  • Y-DNA L-M20 & T1; First First Goat Herders
  • Y-DNA G2 & H2; First Farmers
  • Y-DNA R1; Gluten-related disorders

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