From Old Europe to Iron Age – the Ethnogenesis of Europe

copper The earliest recorded metal employed by humans seems to be gold which can be found free or “native”. The first evidence of this extractive metallurgy dates from the 5th and 6th millennium BC, and was found in the archaeological sites of Majdanpek, Yarmovac and Plocnik, all three in Serbia. To date, the earliest copper smelting is found at the Belovode site,[5] these examples include a copper axe from 5500 BC belonging to the Vinča culture. By combining copper and tin, a superior mettmetal could be made, an alloy called bronze, a major technological shift which began the Bronze Age about 3500 BC. According to National Museum archaeologist Dušan Šljivar, experts found a “copper chisel and stone ax at a location near Prokuplje in which the foundation has proven to be 7,500 years old, leading us to believe that it was one of the first places in which metal weapons and tools were made in prehistoric times.” The oldest evidence of copper metallurgy is from the Vinča culture in Serbia around 5500 BCE. From there is quickly spread to Bulgaria (Gumelniţa-Karanovo culture, etc.), then to the eupbrCarpathians (Cucuteni-Tripyllian culture) and the Danubian basin. These cultures of ‘Old Europe’ would have included haplogroups E1b1b, G2a, J and T (as well as I2a1 for Cucuteni-Tripyllian).
The Khvalynsk culture in the Volga region marks the first appearance of the chalcolithic in the steppe. Copper working quickly spread in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe and associated cultures further north (Fatyanovo–Balanovo culture) and west (Corded Ware culture). This dispersal was of course linked to haplogroups R1b and R1a. It is noteworthy that the Maykop culture in the North Caucasus (from 3800 BCE) immediately started off as a Bronze Age culture, and apparently the world’s oldest.

Metal_production_in_Ancient_Middle_EastPersianGulfTrade_CopperTin_BronzeAge Before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC bronze artefacts were without tin bronzes in western Asia. Copper-tin ores are rare, in the Mediterranean region there was then no significant reserves of tin. The amber was xBronzeAge2-01_3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.UwwIIGnqt1the gold of the Baltic Sea, the Baltic Sea was not then on the periphery of the civilized world, but it was a supplier of luxury goods that world. The Amber Trail was used to transport the most important raw material of this era, the tin. These raw materials controlled the northern and central part of Europe. Tin was the main raw material of the Bronze Age. It was the most important strategic resource, tin is next to the copper the main component of bronze alloys. It was much more important than copper because it was much less accessible. Tin was then more important than gold, it was so crucial today as oil or gas. Caesar invaded Britain precisely because of its important tin mines! (Just as Traian invaded Dacia because of the Gold.)
The Tin (Cassiterite) Distribution Google Earth 3D GIS Project was tinoriginally initiated in 2007 and has finally come to fruition. It is intended to definitively present all currently known instances of the primary ore of Tin throughout the entirety of Europe, the Middle East, and all of North Africa in an attempt to begin to finally put to an end the lingering controversy regarding the availability of Tin to the Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age.


Not far from the actual border between Poland and Germany, the border between the Slav and Celt worlds, between R1a and R1b, archeologists are digging up the remains of the biggest battle of the Bronze Age, rewriting the history.  At 1300BC maybe this battle was tarbetween R1a and R1b, just before the invasion of the Mediteranian world by the Sea People, who destroyed all the city state of the Middle East. Here used to be the beginning of the Amber route, the battle for the control of these resources – amber and tin was obvious, this route was used to invade the Mediterana (and Black Sea, down the Dnieper). Here was a big city Wolin so this city is similar with the Trojan war. German Bishop Adam of Bremen in 1080 wrote that “in Pomerania at the mouth of the Oder River (the most abundant in the rivers of the Slavs) there is the largest city in Europe, controlling the trade of northern Europe. Slavs live together with other nations, Greeks and the barbarians.”
The 1200BC exodus is similar with the viking conquest of Rusia, England, Normandy, Sicily which led to the fall of the Byzantin Empire. The exodus was probably caused by climatic changes and it was possible because of the superior metal technology, hence military superiority of the R1a world with it’s center in Erzberg area. See translation with google translate of this great article Excavations at Tollense can be compared with the excavations of the Battle of Grunwald 600 years ago considered the greatest battle of medieval Europe. Archaeological research in the fields of Grunwald was conducted more than fifty years, but so far found only the remains of 200 fighters. Meanwhile the excavations at Tollense found bones belonging to at least 130 fighters and all this after digging only 450 m2, ie maybe only 10% of what was yet to dig up. DNA testing teeth, revealed genetic material from Italy, Poland and Scandinavia.

Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle – after a series of excavations between 2009 and 2015, researchers have begun to understand the battle and its startling implications for Bronze Age society. Along a 3-kilometer stretch of the Tollense River, archaeologists from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Department of Historic Preservation (MVDHP) and the University of tollenseGreifswald (UG) have unearthed wooden clubs, bronze spearheads, and flint and bronze arrowheads. They have also found bones in extraordinary numbers – “If our hypothesis is correct that all of the finds belong to the same event, we’re dealing with a conflict of a scale hitherto completely unknown north of the Alps,” says dig co-director Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist at the Lower Saxony State Service for Cultural Heritage in Hannover. “There’s nothing to compare it to.” It may even be the earliest direct evidence—with weapons and warriors together—of a battle this size anywhere in the ancient world. Historical accounts from the Near East and Greece described epic battles, but few artifacts remained to corroborate these boastful accounts. “Even in Egypt, despite hearing many tales of war, we never find such substantial archaeological evidence of its participants and victims,” UCD’s Molloy says. In 2013, geomagnetic surveys revealed evidence of a 120-meter-long bridge or causeway stretching across the valley. Radiocarbon dating showed that although much of the structure predated the battle by more than 500 years, parts of it may have been built or restored around the time of the battle, suggesting the causeway might have been in continuous ThingsTheyCarrieduse for centuries—a well-known landmark. “The crossing played an important role in the conflict. Maybe one group tried to cross and the other pushed them back,” Terberger says. “The conflict started there and turned into fighting along the river.” Chemical tracers in the remains suggest that most of the Tollense warriors came from hundreds of kilometers away.
DNA from teeth suggests some warriors are related to modern southern Europeans and others to people living in modern-day Poland and Scandinavia. “This is not a bunch of local idiots,” says University of Mainz geneticist Joachim Burger. “It’s a highly diverse population.” As University of Aarhus’s Vandkilde puts it: “It’s an army like the one described in Homeric epics, made up of smaller war bands that gathered to sack Troy”—an event thought to have happened fewer than 100 years later, in 1184 B.C.E. That suggests an unexpectedly widespread social organization, Jantzen says. “To organize a battle like this over tremendous distances and gather all these people in one place was a tremendous accomplishment,” he says.
“They weren’t farmer-soldiers who went out every few years to brawl, these are professional fighters.” But why did so much military force converge on a narrow river Tollensetal Impressionsfrakturvalley in northern Germany? Kristiansen says this period seems to have been an era of significant upheaval from the Mediterranean to the Baltic. In Greece, the sophisticated Mycenaean civilization collapsed around the time of the Tollense battle; in Egypt, pharaohs boasted of besting the “Sea People,” marauders from far-off lands who toppled the neighboring Hittites. And not long after Tollense, the scattered farmsteads of northern Europe gave way to concentrated, heavily fortified settlements, once seen only to the south. “Around 1200 B.C.E. there’s a radical change in the direction societies and cultures are heading,” Vandkilde says. “Tollense fits into a period when we have increased warfare everywhere.” Tollense looks like a first step toward a way of life that is with us still. From the scale and brutality of the battle to the presence of a warrior class wielding sophisticated weapons, the events of that long-ago day are linked to more familiar and recent conflicts. “It could be the first evidence of a turning point in social organization and warfare in Europe,” Vandkilde says.

Where did Bronze Age people get the tin needed to forge and smelt the dark yellow metal that gives the period its name? The BRONZEAGETIN project, funded by the EU’s European Research Council (ERC), is able to perform such measurements because of a recent tool: plasma source mass spectrometry.  (2,340,800€)


“The transition to today’s arid climate was not gradual, but occurred in two specific episodes. The first, which was less severe, occurred between 6,700 and 5,500 years ago. The second, which was brutal, lasted from 4,000 to 3,600 years ago. Summer temperatures increased sharply, and precipitation decreased, according to carbon-14 dating. This event devastated ancient civilizations and their socio-economic systems.”[15]
Cultures that rely on nomadic herding, where the livestock may be moved around to greener pastures freely, survive much better in arid regions than cultures that have permanent settlements that are based on subsistence farming techniques. With verified evidence that Kurgan pastoralists were living cheek-to-jowl with the Cucuteni-Trypillian settlements throughout their entire region for many centuries before the end of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, it is becoming very difficult to support Gimbutas’ claim of a military conquest of a peaceful civilization. Rather, it is much more believable and logical to conclude that the members of the Cucuteni-Trypillian society that were facing starvation by farming their dry and barren plots of depleted soil chose instead to take up the practice of their neighbors, and became pastoralists instead.
However, as stated earlier, it is still very important to keep in mind that the Vinca / Cucuteni-Trypillian culture managed to thrive for thousands of years without any concept of warfare, and produced one of the most sophisticated civilizations of its time. As the Indo-Europeans continued to move through the former lands of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture and on to spread across the entire landscape of Europe and beyond, they carried with them the genetic lineage of the Cucuteni-Trypillian people. Today, this genetic line makes up a significant contribution to the European DNA code. In other words, the people of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture did not die out, but their descendants are still very much alive and thriving to this day, and are spread across the entire world.–Trypillian_culture



R1b1b2 is thought to have arrived in central and western Europe around 2500 BCE, by going up the Danube from the Black Sea coast. The archeological and genetic evidence (distribution of R1b subclades) point at several consecutive waves towards the Danube between 2800 BCE and 2300 BCE – beginning of the Unetice culture. It is interesting to note that this also corresponds to the end of the Maykop culture (2500 BCE) and Kemi Oba culture (2200 BCE) on the northern shores of the Black Sea, and their replacement by cultures descended from the northern steppes. It can therefore be envisaged that the (mostly) R1b population from the northern half of the Black Sea migrated westward due to pressure from other Indo-European people (R1a) from the north, like the burgeoning Proto-Indo-Iranian branch, linked to the contemporary Poltavka and Abashevo cultures. It is undeniable that the following Unetice (2300-1600 BCE), Tumulus (1600-1200 BCE), Urnfield (1300-1200 BCE) and Hallstatt (1200-750) cultures were linked to the spread of R1b to Europe, as they abruptly introduce new technologies and a radically different lifestyle. herebedragons/y-dna


Unetice R1b is associated with the diffusion of Proto-Germanic and Proto-Celto-Italic speakers. Emergence of chiefdoms. Long-distance trade in bronze, amber, faience and gold prestige goods. Widespread use of bronze. Gold, copper and bronze objects include torcs, flat axes, halberds, flat triangular daggers, bracelets with spiral-ends, disk- and paddle-headed pins and curl rings. Coarse pottery typically decorated with twisted cord impressions, and sometimes with other types of impressions or incisions. The dead were inhumed in flat graves or in barrows/tumuli for richer burials. Corpses were accompanied by ceramic vessels, jewellery, personal items made of bronze or bone, and occasionally flint tools. Coffins were sometimes used.


Little is known about the arrival of Proto-Greek speakers from the steppes. The Mycenaean culture commenced circa 1650 BCE and is clearly an imported steppe culture. The close relationship between Mycenaean and Proto-Indo-Iranian languages suggest that they split fairly late, some time between 2500 and 2000 BCE. Archeologically, Mycenaean chariots, spearheads, daggers and other bronze objects show striking similarities with the Seima-Turbino culture (c. 1900-1600 BCE) of the northern Russian forest-steppes, known for the great mobility of its nomadic warriors (Seima-Turbino sites were found as far away as Mongolia). It is therefore likely that the Mycenaean descended from Russia to Greece between 1900 and 1650 BCE, where they intermingled with the locals to create a new unique Greek culture.

mycenae05The Mycenaeans, or Achaeans, had invaded the Greek mainland between 1900 BC and 1600 BC, and the term Achaeans was sometimes used to refer to all Greeks of this period. The center of their culture was Mycenae, which flourished from about 1500 to 1100 BC. Before 1400 BC the Mycenaeans conquered the Minoans. The war against Troy took place in the 13th or early 12th century BC

erzbrghungaryslavi si celtiRecap: 4000-3500BCE. Most of Europe is basically I2 plus the layers of E/J/G who brought agriculture from the Middle East. N of Black Sea, the steppe is “red” R1b, further north the forests are “yellow” R1a. Old Europe is thriving, the melting pot between Cucuteni, Yamna and Maykop is where all the technologies and genes are giving birth to the Aryan mix – agriculture and first metal technology from Cucuteni (via Vinca), horses and chariots from the steppes plus the new metal technologies from the Caucaz. R1b enters Europe on the shores of the Black Sea, in the E of present day Romania – Hamagia Culture.
Before 2500BC Eastern and Central Europe plus the North of Europe invaded and dominated by R1A who are pushing also down R1b Maykop culture. Expansion of Yamna into Corded Ware Culture in all Europe except Megalithic I2 culture in Western Europe.
R1b pushed down (south) by R1a is going W through the S of the Black Sea and up on the Danube to Central Europe. First base of R1b in Europe is Transylvania!
2500-2000BCE From Transylvania R1b invades Central and Western Europe, Unetice is a mix of R1a and R1b, Bell Beaker in W Eu is a mix of I2&R1b.
2000-1500BCE – R1a expands again to W and S: Tezciniec culture pushes W the boundary between R1a/R1b domination, proto Greek & Macedonians & Thracians go down from N/Central Eu to Balkans & Greece.
After 1500BCE R1b founds a new power base in Erzberg region, the metal mines and trades gives them wealth, power and military superiority. They thrive and start the huge expansion E, W and S. They totally dominate Western and Central Europe, they invade Greece. So first “Greeks” were “Afrikans” E-V13 and J1/2 “Asians”, second wave of “Greeks” the Mycenians were “Slavs” ie R1a and finnally the last wave of “Greeks” the Dorians were “Celts” R1b.  Smile This huge wave of R1b expansion with the Hallstatt epicenter wipe out all Middle East, invade the Levant and Egypt (the Sea People) but they go over Thrace and can not invade E of Europe (Lusatian Culture). And also go over the N of Greece and Macedonia hence the difference between R1a Macedonians and R1b Spartans.

In all this time “Dacia/Romania” remains with the majority of the tufalaupopulation with I2, plus the R1a&R1b mix, up to present day. Transylvania is more “red”, the future base of Dacians is similar with the Erzeberg R1b base of the Hallstatt culture, it is based on the mines and metal workshops in the Transylvanian mountains  (“Rosia Montana” gold).



About Alex Imreh 0742-669918
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2 Responses to From Old Europe to Iron Age – the Ethnogenesis of Europe

  1. Dan D, Farcas says:

    Si eu am sapat in domeniu deci pot spune, in cunostinta de cauza ca este o excelenta cercetare asupra unor date la zi. Felicitari! Mi-a facut placere sa o parcurg.

  2. Pingback: Europejskie początki metalurgii | Słowianie - Wiara Przyrodzona

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