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View Poll Results: Where do you believe the proto-Afro-Asiatic urheimat was?

106. You may not vote on this poll
  • In the northern Middle East (Fertile Crescent), like Elias says

    30 28.30%
  • In Anatolia

    2 1.89%
  • In Arabia

    2 1.89%
  • In the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia and surroundings)

    31 29.25%
  • In Chadic speaking regions, since the Chadic branch has most languages

    1 0.94%
  • Around the Red Sea

    15 14.15%
  • Nile Valley

    5 4.72%
  • Eastern Sahara

    4 3.77%
  • I don't have an opinion

    14 13.21%
  • Martin Bernal's Black Athena!

    2 1.89%
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Thread: The proto-Afro-Asiatics were proto-Caucasoids from the Fertile Crescent (Mashriq)1696 days old

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    Quote Originally Posted by EliasAlucard View Post
    Most likely some Nilo-Saharan language(s), or perhaps some other now extinct language isolates. It's important to remember that before the invention of the wheel and domestication of the horse, linguistic diversity was much higher throughout the world. This was true throughout Europe, and throughout the world. Back then the linguistic diversity was more like in the pre-Columbian Americas, or Papua New Guinea. An entire continent speaking one language family simply didn't exist.
    And yet that's more or less what we have in Australia with the Pama-Nyungan family, remember Australia was a continent filled with hunter-gatherers. The truth is that this depends largely on the availability of ressources and the degree of contact/isolation/mobility.

    Anyway, the results from LBA to Roman-era Egypt have very little bearing on the PAA homeland debate, about as much as Anglo-Saxon samples have on the PIE homeland debate (and that's a stretch because the Anglo-Saxons are temporally closer to the PIEs than LBA Egyptians are to the PAAs) in the absence of other data. If you want something that will strongly hint at the likeliness of a given homeland for PAA, wait until we have data from the Qadan, Sebilian and Mushabian cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by EliasAlucard View Post
    With genetics, we can track the presence of genes (both autosomal and haplogroups) that correspond to the distribution of the Indo-European language family, and this can be tracked down to an original source of these genes through ancient DNA. While certainly more difficult to do the same with the Afro-Asiatic language family due to its older age, I'm sure a similar scenario can be worked out once they start working on more of those bones in the lab. Yeah, sure, more ancient DNA will make the picture clearer, but the picture is clear enough today if you have eyes that aren't blind.
    The picture is anything but clear. First off, we have genomes from practically every area that has been singled out as the PIE homeland, Anatolia, Iran, the Pontic-Caspian steppe, Central Asia, you name it. On the other hand, the only genomes that relate to the PAA homeland are Natufian, there's no data from Mushabian, Qadan or Sebilian sites, so you can hardly claim that " the picture is clear enough today", that just isn't true.

    Are you kidding me? What about Charlie Bass and SOY Keita?
    Neither are linguists, their views are irrelevant.

    Here's what we know from ancient DNA: Egyptian mummies had less Negroid admixture than modern Copts and Egyptians have, and then there's that Ethiopian caveman who was E1b and had little to no Caucasoid admixture, compared to modern Ethiopians. Clearly, Caucasoid admixture has increased in the Horn of Africa over the millennia.
    Again, nothing prevents NE Africa from having harboured populations with higher amounts of BE than the Natufians. I don't see what's so hard to understand about this.

    That's all I've been hearing from people like @Aware_Dog , @Game Theory and similar folks, here on this forum, over the years.
    Then they were quite obviously talking out of their asses, that much is clear.

    So here's what we know about the genetics of Afro-Asiatic speakers:

    Semites, Egyptians and Berbers, are majority Caucasoid in their ancestry, and ancient Egyptians had little to no Negroid admixture, and I'm sure the same is true of proto-Berbers. Cushites and Omotics have significant Caucasoid admixture. That makes it 5 out of 6 Afro-Asiatic speakers, who share ancestry. The only group left, is Chadics, I don't know much about their genetics, but from what I remember they were predominantly black in their autosomal DNA, and interestingly, they have very high levels of Y-DNA R1b. Chadics seem to represent mainly a language shift, elite dominance style.

    In any case, there's a shared ancestry among Semites, Berbers, Egyptians and Cushites/Omotics, and this ancestry is pointing to the Neolithic Levant and possibly also Neolithic Anatolia or something like that. To argue that proto-Afro-Asiatic was originally spoken in the Horn of Africa at this point, is complete pseudo-science.
    The use of terms such as "Caucasoid" ,"Negroid" or "black" is misleading, first off because BE-type populations certainly did not carry the alleles for light skin (much like the Natufians), second because on the contrary the highly differentiated CHG-type populations were among the first to carry the aforementioned alleles for light skin. So this is just bound to add more confusion to this debate.

    The shared ancestry seems to be Basal Eurasian so far, and I would argue that more pristinely BE groups of foragers lived in NE Africa (not the Horn, which never really made sense as the PAA homeland anyway) along the shores of the Red Sea and that the Nile Valley acted as a corridor through which the earliest AA-speaking communities spread out.

    Well that's your view, on the linguistic data. And while I'm not diminishing your linguistic skills on this topic, I've never seen it argued by other professional linguists who are debating the origin of the Afro-Asiatic language family.
    That's because you haven't read enough material on this topic, I'm not the only one saying that a homeland along the African shores of the Red Sea (opposite Wadi Halfa) is the best contender.

    I don't think Y-DNA (or haplogroups in general) are all that useful for tracking the spread and origin of Afro-Asiatic, because Afro-Asiatic spread in a very different way from Indo-European languages. Even with Indo-European languages, there apparently were at least two Y-DNA markers (R1a and R1b), and R1b didn't seem to have made it into Asia to a large extent (at best Indo-European speaking R1b males, reached Anatolia/Armenia). Indo-European speakers had much better tools to migrate with (horse, wheel, wagons and so on), whereas Afro-Asiatic speakers migrated much earlier in history, and most likely included various tribes along the way, some of which I'm sure had different Y-DNA markers. Which is why modern Afro-Asiatic speakers have a much more diverse pool of Y-DNA diversity, and therefore it's more difficult to figure out the original Y-DNA of the proto-Afro-Asiatics. It could have been something like J1, or maybe E1b, or something else, who knows.

    However, in terms of autosomal DNA, the proto-Afro-Asiatics most likely were something like Neolithic Near Easterners. It's very difficult to argue that the PAAs were anything else at this point.
    On the contrary, I think that Y-DNA markers are extremely important when it comes to this debate, two of the few reconstructible words in PAA are the words for "father" and "brother", so kinship obviously was important to these folks, probably every bit as important as it was to the PIEs since most AA cultures are very patriarchal in nature.

    We cannot tell what the PAAs were like from a genetic standpoint until we have good coverage of the areas most commonly cited as the PAA homeland, the only thing we can tell so far is that they must've had a lot of BE admixture.
    Last edited by Semitic Duwa; 2017-04-01 at 13:41.
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