Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Jive Book Review: The Shaman: Patterns of Siberian and Ojibway Healing

A review of The Shaman: Patterns of Siberian and Ojibway Healing by John A. Grim. He describes the common features of the figure known as "the shaman" by anthropologists who is found mainly in cultures of Siberian origin: with the focus mainly on the Yakut of Siberia and the Ojibwe Indians aka Chippewa, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe people of southern Canada and the northern Midwestern USA. I attempt to compare the features of the shaman and of shamanic religious practices to Indo-European religious customs, particularly in Nordic Germanic religion.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Why was Survive the Jive removed from Facebook?

On July 22nd 2021 the Facebook profile of myself (Thomas Rowsell), my wife, and the Facebook pages of my business and associated products (including Survive the Jive and From Runes to Ruins) were deleted without warning. Several other profiles which I owned and had used in my work as a social media manager for various organisations, including the WHO, were also removed. I responded with a short stream on Instagram (below) and later a longer YouTube stream. The ban was also covered in the news by Reclaim the Net and on MRCTV.

A social media campaign to reinstate my account and pages, using the hashtag #survivethejivedidnothingwrong failed to provoke a response from Facebook. Several attempts at emailing them also resulted in no response. 

The only message I got was on the day of the ban which said I did not "follow community guidelines" and that this decision "cannot be reversed" - both of these statements avoid saying in what way I am alleged to have breached the community guidelines and how this was determined. Usually users are given warnings and the offending posts are highlighted so the user understands why they were removed. The other strange thing is that my wife's account was deleted even though she was not very active on that website. 

I was not satisfied with Facebook's conduct and sought to obtain more information about their mysterious decision. I contacted them on 25th July 2021 with an SAR request for data relating to the ban which they were legally obliged to respond to within 30 days, yet they chose to ignore the law. 

On the 14th October the ICO contacted Facebook insisting that they respond to my data request within 28 days. On the very last day, 11th November, Facebook finally emailed me. They provided a download link for the data from my profile itself, but refused to provide data on the ban, or the justification for it, saying:

Please note, our internal policies and protocols with respect to the application of our Terms and Community Standards (and the imposition of sanctions) are not comprised of personal data and so these documents do not fall within the scope of data access requests under Article 15 GDPR. These documents relate to Facebook Ireland’s enforcement of its Terms and Policies.

With respect to our decision to impose sanctions on your specific account, we reserve the right not to provide access to data relating to sanctions and/or our process for deciding in specific cases whether to impose sanctions, and we are entitled to do so under Article 15(4) GDPR.

To the extent that information contained in internal documentation in respect of the violation of our policies and protocols includes personal data about you, we are not able to provide this information to you, as the provision of such information could adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others (as set out in Article 15(4) GDPR). This could include the rights and freedoms of our members and our employees but more importantly, the rights and freedoms of individuals who may have reported your account.

Furthermore, providing information regarding what specific behaviour types trigger blocks and/or sanctions may prejudice the effective application of our policies and protocols by potentially allowing individuals to understand how we determine breaches and therefore how to adjust their behaviour slightly so as to avoid their account being actioned. As such, and in accordance with Article 15(4) GDPR, we do not provide access to this specific data.

 This seems like a very poor excuse since Facebook could redact any sensitive names. They are still obliged to provide any data that pertains to me according to UK data protection law. Their reluctance to do so is extremely suspicious.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Modern Horses were domesticated in Europe

I've been waiting for some concrete DNA evidence about where modern horses came from since I interviewed Alan Outram three years ago and he hinted that it was soon to be published. He indicated that Sintashta horses might end up being more important than Yamnaya ones, and now that the new paper, to which he contributed, has finally been published, I can see why.


The new paper (Librado et al 2021) doesn't make the findings very clear IMO (refers to Europe as West Eurasia and makes the false assumption that Corded Ware was descended from Yamnaya) but it does answer some important questions. I will summarise the findings in a clear TLDR bullet point list below:
  • Botai may have been first to corral horses for milking but they didn't ride them.

  • Yamnaya kept horses for milking too but we cannot see if they were ridden

  • Wilkin et al (2021) looking at milk proteins in pottery agrees with this new paper regarding "a potential epicentre for horse domestication in the Pontic–Caspian steppe by the third millennium BC" = Yamnaya.

  • Librado et al (2021) points to Volga-Don region (aka Yamnaya EUROPE) as the homeland of modern domestic horses

  • Sintashta horses (DOM2) were superior for riding (stronger backs) and replaced earlier ones from 2200 BC

  • Sintashta horses (DOM2) had genetic continuity with earlier Yamnaya Repin ones (TURG) and Steppe Maykop (Aygurskii), and Poltavka (Sosnovka) - specifically two late Yamnaya specimens from approximately 2900 to 2600 BC

  • Yamnaya horses had some relation, but not much, to Botai horses

  • The Tarpan and modern Przewalski’s horses do not descend from the same ancestral population as modern domestic horses

  • Modern horses were domesticated in Europe but the paper calls it West Eurasia - possibly as a deliberate, politically motivated obfuscation

  • The ancestors of Sintashta horses came from the steppe East of the Dnieper and West of the Volga-Don region - ie: firmly within European Yamnaya territory during the late fourth and early third millennia BC

  • Corded Ware horses were not the same as Yamnaya/Sintashta horses 

  • Earlier LBK and other Neolithic horses in Denmark, Poland, Czechia and Hungary had some affinity with Yamnaya/Sintashta horses - the geneflow seems to have been via Thrace

  • Corded Ware expansion into Europe was not accompanied by horses but rather they adopted local horses as they migrated (not clear if they were ridden)

  • Replacement of other horse lineages in Europe and Asia by Sintashta ones was accompanied by spread of both equestrianism and (a bit later) light two wheeled war chariots

  • The spread of Sintashta horses into the middle east was likely accompanied by the spread of a specialised class of Sintashta descended horse trainers like the Mitanni.

Sintashta horses come from Yamnaya horses and Yamnaya domesticated their horses in Europe (see Robert Molyneaux's forensic reconstruction of a Yamnaya male above). Reminder that Sintashta, despite being Proto-Indo-Iranic speakers, the descendant languages of which are now found in Iran and India, were white people. So it is accurate to say that white people gave modern domestic horses to the world. Below are some reconstructions of Sintashta men by "ancestral whispers".

All this new information should be considered when we examine the evident Indo-European origin of horse sacrifice which I discussed at length in a documentary film on the subject.

Friday, 29 October 2021

Thursday, 28 October 2021

New Genetic Study on Tarim Mummies of China

New genetic data on Tarim mummies disproves my claim that early Tarim mummies were Iranic. It also shows the likely origin of Tocharian languages is in the Dzungarian Basin just north of Tarim rather than Tarim itself. Tarim mummies date from 2000 BC to AD 200 yet this sample only looks at the very oldest of those. Even older samples (3000–2800 BC) in the new study are from the Dzungarian Basin and these samples appear to be Afanasievo derived and therefore are likely the source of Tocharian languages, and if so then the language moved South into Tarim from them, but the early mummies from Tarim itself, at least the 13 in this study which date from 2100–1700 BC, do NOT appear to be Tocharians or even, as I speculated in my video las year, Iranic speaking Aryans, rather an isolated refugia of ice-age like people predominantly descended from Ancient North Eurasians and West Siberian Hunter-Gatherers (WSHG themselves were 72.5% ANE, 7.5% West European Hunter-Gatherer, and 20% Ancient East Asian).

We can't say what language these Siberian mammoth hunters turned lizard-eaters of Tarim spoke (not an Indo-European one though), although we know the genes associated with Tocharian and Iranic speakers both entered the Tarim basin region later on. Interesting that the mummies appear to be European in phenotype despite not descending from Indo-European bronze age steppe peoples who are autosomally like modern Europeans. As the paper says:

“The Tarim mummies’ so-called Western physical features are probably due to their connection to the Pleistocene ANE gene pool,”

So they look physically European because they have ANE DNA. This also answers the question of why some Ainu people from Japan, and some ancient native American skeletons like Kennewick man, look like Europeans; They all have ANE DNA and ANE were obviously Europoid.

This also explains why the material culture of early Tarim people resembles that of Siberian peoples. Take the idols for example:

You find faces similar to this everywhere you find WSHG/ANE ancestry in Siberia and Central Asia. The Mansi, Kalash and Ket all make figurines in similar trends to this day.

Mansi idols

It is important to remember that these new samples from Tarim represent only the first 400 years of that burial tradition which lasted a further 1900 years! Without samples from those following long 19 centuries we cannot say for sure when the WSHG people disappeared but I highly suspect that later Tarim mummies like Cherchen man (see below), who died c. 1000 BC, in all probability do have steppe admixture and could well be Iranic or Tocharian speakers.

Cherchen man Tarim
Chercen man depicted by Andrew Whyte

Tocharian and Iranic speakers of steppe descent entered the Tarim basin from different routes at different times, but the original inhabitants were these ANE descended Siberian people and they mixed with the incoming Indo-Europeans. So I still think that Cherchen man and the Yanghai cannabis shaman were both Indo-European people.

So what do we know about the people of this Siberian ANE-rich refugia?

  • Their race underwent a bottleneck and formed over 9000 years ago

  • They were homogenous population scattered in the Tarim desert, rarely mixing with neighbours

  • They adopted pastoralist lifestyle from neighbouring steppe peoples

  • They consumed dairy products like kefir but were lactose intolerant

  • They farmed animals - likely due to Afanasievo influence

  • They were not European but they looked European due to ANE ancestry

  • They had genes associated with dark skin in SLC24A5 and SLC45A5 like East asians do

  • We don’t know what language they originally spoke

  • They likely adopted Tocharian and Iranic languages after mixing with their Afanasievo neighbours of the Dzungarian basin to the North who were related to Yamnaya, and Andronovo neighbours to the West who were Aryans. This occurred sometime after 1700 BC

  • They buried their dead with ephedra twigs like later BMAC and Iranic cultures did

  • They made idols similar to those made by other Siberian peoples

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

The ancient Indo-European Cannabis Cult

Who were the first cannabis users in history? Cannabis sativa has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years both as a narcotic and also for making hemp fabrics. Brand new genetic and archaeological evidence places the original domestication event in China, but indicates that the plant was mainly spread by Indo-European peoples such as the Yamnaya and the Scythians. Cannabis was used in the funerary and religious rites in many pagan religions as well as in ancient Jewish rites in Israel.



Waking of sky tree - Stonehenge shaman


I was aided in research for this video by Chris Bennett of to whom I am very grateful

  • Anthony, D., ‘The Horse, the Wheel, and Language’ 2007.
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  • “Cannabis van 4200 jaar oud in graf Hanzelijn”
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  • Eran Arie, Baruch Rosen & Dvory Namdar (2020) Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad, Tel Aviv
  • Haak, W., Lazaridis, I., Patterson, N. et al. Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe. Nature 522, 207–211 (2015).
  • Herodotus, The Histories, (Penguin Books,1972)
  • Hoffmann, K., Aufsätze zur Indoiranistik II, Wiesbaden, 1976. Georg Holzer, “Namen skythischer und sarmatischer Stämme,” Anzeiger der philosophisch-historischen Klassse der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 125, 1988, pp. 193-213.
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  • Long, T., et al., (2017). Cannabis in Eurasia: origin of human use and Bronze Age trans-continental connections. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 26.
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  • Mallory, J. P. and Adams, Douglas Q., Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, (Taylor & Francis, 1997)
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  • Ren, M., et al. (2019). The origins of cannabis smoking: Chemical residue evidence from the first millennium BCE in the Pamirs. Science Advances. 5.
  • Ren, G., et al. Large-scale whole-genome resequencing unravels the domestication history of Cannabis sativa. Sci Adv. 2021 Jul 16;7(29):eabg2286.
  • Rosetti Dinu V. Movilele funerare de la Gurbăneşti (r. Lehliu, reg. Bucureşti) / Les tumulus funéraires de Gurbăneşti. In: Materiale şi cercetări arheologice, N°6 1959. pp. 791-816;
  • Ruck, Carl, affidavit in Bennett v The Attorney General for Canada and the Minister of Health for Canada, (2009)
  • Rudgley, Richard, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances, (Little, Brown and Company, 1998)
  • Sarianidi V., Temples of Bronze Age Margiana: traditions of ritual architecture. Antiquity, (1994)
  • Sherratt, Andrew, “Alcohol and its Alternatives:Symbol and substance in Pre-Industrial cultures,” in Consuming Habits: Drugs in History and Anthropology, by Jordan Goodman, Paul E. Lovejoy, Andrew Sherratt, Contributor Jordan Goodman, (Routledge, 1995)
  • Sherratt, A. G., “Sacred and profane substances: the ritual use of narcotics in later Neolithic Europe” in E Garwood, D. Jennings, R. Skeates, andJ. Toms, eds., Sacred and profane: proceedings of a conference on archaeology, ritual and religion. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monographs. (1995)
  • Xie, M. et al, (2013) Interdisciplinary investigation on ancient Ephedra twigs from Gumugou Cemetery (3800 B.P.) in Xinjiang region, northwest China.
  • Yang, Y. (2019), ‘Shifting Memories: Burial Practices and Cultural Interaction in Bronze Age China A study of the Xiaohe-Gumugou cemeteries in the Tarim Basin’
  • Zhang He, “Is Shuma the Chinese Analog of Soma/Haoma?” Sino-Platonic Papers, 216 (October, 2011)