European Middle Neolithic (Credit)
DNA analysis has brought about a revolution in understanding the bloodbath that occurred when the Steppes horsemen conquered Europe. That sounds exciting, but it wasn’t a Volga to Thames cavalry charge. Rather, it was a steady westward incursion of horsemen over those who fought on their feet, rather like a cavalry invasion against a people only having foot soldiers. It surely had its dramatic moments for Old Europeans as we saw in Post 214. But I would say that scene was repeated many times, I hesitate to say “always,” but that’s what I’m thinking.
The 90% replacement of the old Britain gene pool by Steppes genes “within a few hundred years” speaks to a preexisting deep cultural vulnerability in the Old European cultures—a fatal disparity in numbers, technology and/or ferocity. To me, it’s obvious: I on a horse with equal weapons will defeat myself afoot—of course, I mean myself when I left the U.S. Marines at 20 years old, and after learning to ride well in Uruguay at age 36 (still pretty good shape). Ceteris Paribus, if you will. But of course, all things are not equal. I’m sure the horsemen showed up in Britain with weapons and tactics honed over centuries of fighting their way from the Steppes. The builders of Stonehenge wouldn’t have stood a chance.
I’ll be revising and final editing my current novel until year-end, but I need to start now researching my next series, and the horsemen’s conquest of Old Europe is on my front burner. For my next novels, I now want to investigate the progression of cultures emanating from the Pontic Caspian Steppes which coalesced into the conquerors of Old Europe, southeast through the Zagros Mountains into Mehrgarh and Harappa in the Indus Valley, west through the Zagros Mountains into Hattusa, and east through the Kazakh Steppes to Mongolia and China. As I do this, the multitude of DNA studies involving the Steppe horsemen will be maturing.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke