Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update.

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Ten out of the Twelve Tribes of Israel were exiled and lost their identity. Their descendants are now to be found amongst Western Peoples. This is proven from the Bible, Talmud, and Rabbinical Sources as well as from Secular Studies in Ancient History, Archaeology, Mythology, Linguistics, and related fields. It would be expected that DNA studies also reflect ancestral links between the Gentile (in the religious sense) Peoples in question and their Jewish kinfolk. DNA should also show that the Israelite Nations of Judah and the Ten Tribes may be traced back to the Middle East Area of Ancient Israel. In the notes, comments, and articles listed below we give an inkling of the issues involved and the complexity of the subject. DNA (especially mtDNA) is determined by a combination of both environment and heredity. To what proportion of either determinant may characteristics at a particular stage be attributed is not known. Nevertheless, even relying only on what has been published and accepting conventional explanations, valid ancestral links between the Israelite Nations and the area of Ancient Israel may be shown to exist. This in itself may not proof anything but it does add to the general plausibility of what Brit-Am believes in.

Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
22 September 2011, 23 Elul 5771

1. Why it is wrong to assume that a haplogroup originated where it is most frequent now?
2. Lengthy Discussion on the DNA of King Tut..
3. DNA Versus History????  Where are the Vikings of Ireland?


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1. Why it is wrong to assume that a haplogroup originated where it is most frequent now?
Note: Read this article carefully and you should perceive that today a Middle East (i.e. area of greater Israel) origin for YDNA haplogroup R1b (which applies to most men in Western Europe) is being seriously considered.


(1. Elevated modern frequency does not equal place of origin

I have read hundreds of time people thinking that a haplogroup must probably have originated where it is most common today. It is an assumption that even professional geneticists make, and that is nevertheless often mistaken.

One famous example is Y-haplogroup R1b. Up until recently most people, amateurs and professionals alike, thought that it must be native to western Europe because it is where it is found at the highest frequencies....

There are plenty of other examples. Sometimes the place of highest frequency does coincide with the region of origin. This is usually true of subclades that have developed in an isolated region, or of relatively recent mutations. The first rule is : the older the haplogroup the less likely its place of origin will coincide with the place of highest frequency.

Y-haplogroup Q is found mostly in Siberia (Altai region) and among native Americans. Judging from percentages alone it would be easy to jump to the wrong conclusion that it originated in the pre-Colombian Americas. ...That's why it is vital to look at the age of subclades and identify where the oldest version is found. In this case, Q*, the oldest form of Q, is found in Central Asia and the Middle East. This is unfortunately to wide an area to pinpoint a place of origin.

It is often in isolated regions with small population density that older versions of haplogroups survive. Apart from Q*, Central Asia is a great region for preserving haplogroups that have disappeared about anywhere else (e.g. O*, P*, K*). The Caucasus is another good example. Its high mountains have isolated ethnic groups from one another for millennia. Unsurprisingly it is almost the only region where haplogroup F, a haplogroup that originated some 50,000 years ago, can still be found in high, and indeed sometimes very high frequencies. Isolation and the near absence of population inflow from the outside are one factor, but the small size of mountain populations is another, slowing down the mutation rate that create new haplogroups. It is not because F is found almost exclusively in the Caucasus nowadays that it originated there. I just survived there in its oldest form, but evolved elsewhere. 90% of the world population descends from F*. That's why it is important not to confuse modern distribution and place of origin. F almost certainly did not originate in the Caucasus, otherwise it would have remained stuck there rather than spreading to the whole world.

It is banal to refer to the southern Arabian peninsula as the place of origin of J1. After all, over 70% of men in Yemen belong to that haplogroup. Things are never as simple as they look at first sight. We have to ask : why did this haplogroup become dominant in that region and not another one also found there ? It could have evolved from a small group of original settlers into a virgin region. If the other haplogroups represent later immigrants, the first haplogroup present would have remained the dominant one, unless the new migrants came in huge numbers or killed the original inhabitants.

But how can we know if J1 in Yemen arrived first in an empty place or if it replaced indigenous haplogroups ? R1b did replace most of the older haplogroups in western Europe and so did O in East Asia (the aboriginal East Asians belonging to C and D).

Even if Yemen was uninhabited before J1 or all the older lineages became extinguished, how can we know if the people who arrive were already J1 or were J* that later developed into J1 in Yemen,
then re-expanded northward? To answer this question geneticists will usually analyse the genetic diversity of various regions. Theoretically, the place where J1 originated would be the one where the most subclades and STR variance can be observed. As we will now see the theory always seem easier than it actually is in practice.

(2. Genetic diversity does not equal place of origin

Another common mistake is to think that a haplogroup's place of origin corresponds to the area where it has the greater genetic diversity (e.g. microsatellite diversity, number of subclades). For example, if region A has 10 different subclades for a haplogroup, with a converging age going back 15,000 years, but region B has only 2 subclades and a TMRCA going back only 8,000 years, then region A is more likely to be the place of origin. The concept is attractive, but unfortunately too simple. It doesn't take into account two essential factors : 1) the population size of a region and 2) the region's history (invasions, migrations, genocides).

First, one has to consider the historical and present population size of regions studied. Mutations, and therefore genetic diversity, happen 100 times more frequently in a population of one million individuals than among 10,000 persons. Take 200 men belonging to the same Y-haplogroup, divide them in two groups, one in an unfriendly environment with little food (e.g. Siberia) and the other in a pleasant climate favourable to agriculture (e.g. India). Let's say that after a thousand years the first group will have 1,000 descendants carrying the same haplogroup, while the second will have 100,000 descendants. Population grow has be constant with no major war, famine or epidemics causing a population bottleneck in between. In this theoretical example (because wars, famines and epidemics do happen) it is easy to see why the second group should have a much greater genetic diversity than the first one after one thousand years, although they both descend from the same original lineage !

This is probably what happened with such haplogroups as R1a1a (Y-DNA) and U2 (mtDNA) in India, as opposed to their likely place of origin in the Eurasian steppe. The same thing happened with haplogroup O, which most probably originated in Central Asia, but gained a great diversity in the much more fertile lands of East and South-East Asia.

The second fundamental point that should never be overlooked is regional history. How often was a region invaded ?

Regions that were seen as attractive by nomads to plunder, conquer or resettle to, will undoubtedly have inherited from some of these invaders' haplogroups. In Europe and the Middle East the most advanced societies from the Neolithic until the Renaissance (c. 8500 BCE to 1500 CE, so a period of 10,000 years) was between Mesopotamia and the Balkans (+ Italy from the heydays of the Roman Empire). This region also maintained the largest populations in the biggest cities outside India and China.

Furthermore, the biggest reservoir for nomadic incursions was just across the Caucasus, the huge Eurasian steppe, ranging from the Danube estuary to Central Asia and Mongolia. Mesopotamia has the world's longest recorded history, and it is but a succession of invasion from steppe people, be them Indo-European, Mongolian or Turkic. It is therefore unsurprising that a high level of genetic diversity from steppe haplogroups (such as R1a1a, and probably also R1b1b) should be found between Mesopotamia and the Balkans. Note that Egypt was better preserved from these invasions thanks to its distance and geographic isolation.

Some geneticists have argued for the Middle East or the Balkans as the place of origin of R1a1a or R1b1b based on the genetic diversity found in those regions (the Balkans for R1a1a and the Levant or Mesopotamia for R1b1b). This is however likely to be just the results of millennia of steppe invasions. The same phenomenon can be observed in India/Pakistan with R1a1a. How better can we explain the great genetic diversity of R1a1a in such distant places as the Balkans and the Indian subcontinent if not as a result of waves of migrations by different steppe people from the Bronze Age onwards ? Add to this that the migrants would have had more offspring in the newly conquered fertile lands than in their native steppes, and that explains it all. point to a flexible Viking settlement approach across North Atlantic Europe.

2. Lengthy Discussion on the DNA of King Tut.

King Tutunkhamun's DNA in doubt
Royal rumpus over King Tutankhamun's ancestry

astenb said...

I think people are still putting too much faith in a screen shot that was most likely a control sample. Going from the actual technical data that was released its pretty clear to see not much can be done with only 2 STR's. King Tut carrying the most common lineage in Western Europe I believe is more wishful thinking that some would WANT to be true, versus something those same people actually BELIEVE to be true. point to a flexible Viking settlement approach across North Atlantic Europe.

3. DNA Versus History????  Where are the Vikings of Ireland?

History says that the Vikings invaded Ireland, ruled over a good portion of it, and settled there intermixing with the inhabitants.
The Irish under Brian Boru (990s CE) and others defeated them but did not drive them out.
So too with the English and Normans.  The presence of Scandinavians and Englishmen in the Irish population is demonstrated by family names etc.
This however does not seem to be reflected so much in DNA findings.
The sources below report on this phenomenon concerning the Viking presence or lack of it.
The Vikings founded many other coastal towns, and after several generations of coexistence and intermarriage a group of mixed Irish and Norse ethnic background arose (often called Norse-Gaels or Hiberno-Norse). This Norse influence is reflected in the Norse-derived names of many contemporary Irish kings (e.g. Magnus, Lochlann or Sitric), and DNA evidence in some residents of these coastal cities to this day. A genetics paper in 2006 by Dr Brian McEvoy found that most men with Irish-Viking surnames carried typically Irish genes. This suggests that Viking settlements may have had a Scandinavian elite but with most of the inhabitants being indigenous Irish.[35]

Genes of Gallgoidil

Cross-disciplinary Studies of Migration of Irish, Hiberno-Norse and other Gaelic-speaking populations in the Viking Age
This project established an international network of academics from Ireland and Britain from a variety of disciplines, both in humanities and in the sciences. Our remit was to examine the different perspectives on Viking ethnicity and migration that exist in modern academia and to attempt to forge interpretative models which we could all share and which might lead to collaborative and inter-disciplinary research proposals in the future. In the Irish context, we began by looking at a seminal article on the evidence for a Viking/Scandinavian contribution to the Irish population in terms of genetics: 'The scale and nature of Viking settlement in Ireland from Y-chromosome admixture analysis' by Brian McEvoy, Claire Brady, Laoise T Moore and Daniel Bradley, published in the European Journal of Human Genetics (2006) 14, 1288-1294 and available online.

The conclusions of this article were that only a relatively small percentage of Scandinavians settled in Ireland and that much of the population of the great urban enclaves of Dublin, Limerick and Waterford as well as most of the rural population which settled outside of these was probably of native insular origin. It was decided to hold a Network meeting in Limerick in November 2009 to examine this conclusion from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

The scale and nature of Viking settlement in Ireland from Y-chromosome admixture analysis.
McEvoy B, Brady C, Moore LT, Bradley DG.

Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.
The Vikings (or Norse) played a prominent role in Irish history but, despite this, their genetic legacy in Ireland, which may provide insights into the nature and scale of their immigration, is largely unexplored. Irish surnames, some of which are thought to have Norse roots, are paternally inherited in a similar manner to Y-chromosomes. The correspondence of Scandinavian patrilineal ancestry in a cohort of Irish men bearing surnames of putative Norse origin was examined using both slow mutating unique event polymorphisms and relatively rapidly changing short tandem repeat Y-chromosome markers. Irish and Scandinavian admixture proportions were explored for both systems using six different admixture estimators, allowing a parallel investigation of the impact of method and marker type in Y-chromosome admixture analysis. Admixture proportion estimates in the putative Norse surname group were highly consistent and detected little trace of Scandinavian ancestry. In addition, there is scant evidence of Scandinavian Y-chromosome introgression in a general Irish population sample. Although conclusions are largely dependent on the accurate identification of Norse surnames, the findings are consistent with a relatively small number of Norse settlers (and descendents) migrating to Ireland during the Viking period (ca. AD 800-1200) suggesting that Norse colonial settlements might have been largely composed of indigenous Irish. This observation adds to previous genetic studies that point to a flexible Viking settlement approach across North Atlantic Europe.


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