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« on: July 06, 2009, 01:33:14 PM »
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If you look at the y-chromosome "trees" of genetic groups, you'll find that a very large number of non-African groups originated in central Asia.  This parent group is called haplogroup "K".

What I posit is that as hunter-gatherers, this tribe was cohesive and travelled together for a very distinct reason:  following the animal herds.  Human migration was dependent upon animal migration, and independent groups tended not to branch out so much since they all had to follow the same game herds.

At a certain point, over the course of hunting, they would have discovered that if they trapped a group of animals, they didn't have to kill them right away to obtain their meat.  They could keep the trapped animals alive as a ready inventory of fresh kills rather than have to try to preserve large amounts of meat for a winter season.  And with this new animal husbandry, people would also have discovered that they were more mobile, and any direction they could go and still feed their herds, they could decide to go. 

So my claim is that at points in archaeology where you see cohesion of groups, they were probably hunter-gatherers, and when those groups dispersed widely, they had probably discovered a pastoral lifestyle.  In the case of central Asia, these would be the groups branching out from haplogroup K.

"By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named Night, On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule
From a wild weird clime, that lieth, sublime, Out of Space out of Time." --Edgar Allen Poe
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 08:41:39 AM »
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There's a book by Jared Diamond that describes the migration habits and domestication of plant and animal species by early humans very well. The rough hypothesis is that Asia and the Middle East, being largely "horizontal" to the Earth, presented a very ready migration route through a steady climate. North America, South America, Europe, and Africa presented a "vertical" route that would have posed climate changes due to changes in latitude. It took comparitavely little time for our human ancestors to migrate through most of Asia and down to Australia while taking comparitevely long to get to the European north-lands and the Americas.

The same author also posits that, contrary to the theory of "man the great hunter", early man was not so dependent on meat as was previously thought. His tools and the sites that have been found do not suggest a heavily meat-based diet. Animal bones aren't really found in large quantities until you get to the point of late Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens. It's possible that they did follow herds of easier to catch and kill animals though....

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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 08:25:16 AM »
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Primates in general tend to be opportunistic feeders, and in central Asia the opportunity for meat dwarfs one's ability to find figs or wild cherries growing on trees.  It's likely that due to the conditions of the region, the human tribes that may have been more varied in diet further south (middle east) would have become more carnivorous as plant food became more scarce.

In the middle east itself, river fish and wild fruits and vegetables would have been plentiful enough that it may not have even occurred to most tribes to attempt hunting game.

"By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named Night, On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule
From a wild weird clime, that lieth, sublime, Out of Space out of Time." --Edgar Allen Poe
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