Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Investigation into the "Mysterious" Mesolithic Maghrebi populations

The present discussion takes off from the trail of a previous one posted here on the examination of the "Mechta-Afalou" and the European "Cro-Magnons" as elements of a monophyletic unit constituting a taxonomic "type". That previous discussion had put a spotlight on the futility of such a thesis, which varied quite widely in its specifics as one went from the subjective taxonomic regime of one researcher to the next. In that same discussion, the following was noted:  "the Mechtoid concept and its supposed relationship with Cro-Magnon, is nothing more than another Eurocentric way of trying to relate North Africa to Europe...essentially a *wishful* desire to see north Africa as more an extension of Europe than the actual continent [Africa] its attached to".

Indeed, there has been a long indirectly-stated desire to make the coastal northern piece of the African continent an extension of Europe, and territory which has traditionally been THE domain of European-descended peoples than of autochthonous Africans, which are generally treated as "newcomers" to the region. In other words, some sort of a "natural" apartheid was put in place in the late Upper Paleolithic until some time in the early Holocene, preventing autochthonous Africans from inhabiting the place, while the same region was supposedly hospitable to "European immigrants". This theme blatantly makes its reappearance in another study that has fairly recently enjoyed elevated circulation and has become a citation-favorite within online 'white' supremacist cult gatherings, undoubtedly attributable to the French-published study becoming more accessible as English-translated versions became more available on the net. The study in question comes from Kefi et al., under the heading: Mitochondrial Diversity of the Population of Taforalt (12,000 years b.p. - Morocco): A Genetic Study Approach to the Peopling of North Africa, 2005.