The Lost Ten Tribes and DNA

Brit-Am and Secular Disciplines
DNA typing of Racial Groupings and their Origins
DNA and its Relevance to Brit-Am Lost Ten Tribes Studies
DNA and the Jews.
(1) Males
(2) Females

Jewish DNA compared to that of Western Peoples
(1) Males
(2) Females

West European DNA and the Possibility of Middle East Origins
Appendix: Jewish Male DNA in More Detail
Appendix: Jewish Female DNA in More Detail


The article below shows that even though DNA does not prove that descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes are now to be found primarily amongst Western Peoples, it also does not disprove it. Even more than that, as DNA researches progress the results more and more tend to show the feasibility of Western Peoples having originally come from the area of Ancient Israel. We ourselves are critical of DNA. Environmental influence in our opinion determines DNA type, at least to some degree. Nevertheless it is undeniable that DNA can tell us something. DNA findings help rather than hinder the proposition of the Lost Ten Tribes being primarily in the west, as the following article demonstrates.

Brit-Am and Secular Disciplines
Brit-Am, Movement of the Lost Ten Tribes, holds that descendants of Israelite Tribes who were separated from Judah (the Jews) and lost their identity are now to be found mainly amongst Western nations. The Exile of the Northern Tribes of Israel took place in ca. 730-720 BCE. Some of the Exiles were taken overseas directly to the West. Others were conducted to further parts of the Assyrian Empire where they amalgamated with Cimmerian and Scythian groupings and eventually also moved westward. Our proofs derive from Biblical, Rabbinical, and Secular sources. The historical explanations that we provide do not always correspond with accounts found in regular sources such as encyclopedia articles and so on. This was not always the case. In the late 19th century the accepted historical pathway of migration of peoples from the east to the west could be seen to dovetail with an idea of Israelite origin.  From the early twentieth century onwards, perceptions of history changed.  In the recent past beliefs such as ours were considered the domain of eccentrics and religious fanatics. Advocates of beliefs like our own had not only to establish their case from the Bible etc but also to explain why conventional academic scholarship said nothing about it. In recent years new findings and revision of older ones brought academia a little closer. It is now more or less accepted that there was, or could well have been,  a movement from the Middle East into "Scythia" (Southern Russia etc) and from there to the west. Archaeological findings in Spain confirm the presence of settlers from Northern Syria etc bearing a Phoenician type culture arriving just after ca. 700 BCE and leaving (apparently for the north and to Britain and Ireland) about 200 years later. The Scandinavian Bronze Age gives evidence of material culture, religious beliefs, and population input from the Middle East region. Similar conclusions may be applicable in the British Isles and elsewhere. The later history of Scandinavia and the north also shows evidence of more immigrations from the east. All this is explained in recent academic works on archaeological findings and related studies. The idea that many Western Peoples originated in the areas of what is now Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, etc, is no longer a far-fetched notion but rather a proposed scenario of high probability. At various times, the Ancient Israelite domain extended into the areas we are speaking about.
So much for academia, history, and archaeology. These disciplines do not confirm the Brit-Am proposals but they are definitely compatible with what we say. Another former hurdle lies in the field of linguistics. Here too, the barriers are not what they used to be. Linguistic dogma is no longer as unassailable as it once was. Maverick opinions exist. There is a strong and much-respected school of thought that the linguistic substructures of Irish and Welsh were Semitic or Hamito-Semitic meaning of a type once prevalent in Ancient Israel.

After having weathered and possibly surmounted the previously strong cases for objection in conventional disciplines the case for accepting Brit-Am findings should have appeared quite a strong one. We have only to continue in the research pathways already established and show how relevant discoveries and new studies help confirm what we have been saying. It is however not always so easy.
We have the problem of DNA.
DNA is a new science.
DNA is science.
Science is holy.

DNA typing of Racial Groupings and their Origins
DNA is another name for genetic inheritance. What concerns us is DNA typing of Racial Groupings and their Origins. This relies upon specific markers from mtDNA and from the Y(male)chromosome DNA. MtDNA is transmitted only by the female line. It has now been proven that mtDNA is influenced by the environment.
See also:
BAMAD no.67
#3. MtDNA and Environmental Influence

On the other hand, YChromosome DNA is received by males only from one generation to another. There are claims that YDNA is also subject to external influences but so far such claims have not been proven or at least not accepted.
Brit-Am in its regular DNA-related News feature, BAMAD, Brit-Am DNA and Anthropology Updates, follows these developments. We both report growing doubts about the reliability of DNA in ethnic studies as well as following ongoing results based on them. Whatever the ultimate conclusions may be it seems that some degree of reliability of studies based on the DNA of different peoples (at least over the short run) will be accepted. DNA is different for different peoples which shows that they were subject to different environments and to some degree had different ancestries.

DNA and its Relevance to Brit-Am Lost Ten Tribes Studies
DNA claims in regard to our studies may be divided into two main aspects:
(a) What degree of closeness do People we believe to be descended from the Lost Ten Tribes show to the DNA of the Jewish People.
This will require a very brief overview of the male and female DNA markers prominent amongst the Jews.
(b) How far does DNA Research confirm the origins of Brit-Am Peoples to have been in the region of the Middle East and to have come westward only after ca. 700 BCE'

DNA and the Jews
(1) Males
Different studies of the Y Chromosome of Jewish populations more or less place Jewish DNA as close to that of the Kurds and natives of Turkey and Armenians, distantly related to Palestinian Arabs, and in general between Middle Eastern populations and those of Europe but closer to that of the Middle East.
Approximations are ca. 30% J, mainly J2. The Arabs are J1 while J2 is found more in the north amongst Greeks, Kurds, and Turks etc.
About 20% are E1b1b1 associated with white North Africans but distantly related to other E lines found amongst Black Africans. This could possibly be a Phoenician line.
For Ashkenazim there is ca. 20% of R1a otherwise associated mainly with Slavic peoples.
Sephardic Jews have about 15% R1b which is the predominant haplogroup in Western Europe including Spain and Portugal.
Other groups found in Jews include ca. 5% Q (Central Asia), ca. 3% K (Turkish groups), ca. 9% G (Caucasus), N (Finns, Siberians).

(2) Females:
MtDNA is determined primarily by the environment but different parent groups may be expected to have reacted in different ways.
[ MtDNA haplogroups have names like Y DNA haplogroups e.g. J, K, N. There is however no connection between the two sets of nomenclature e.g. MtDNA haplogroup J has nothing to do with YDNA haplogroup J. With the male Yhaplogroups there is a certain logic in the letters given e.g. A is closer to B than it is G. This does not hold for mtDNA where the letters were given in order of the mt haplogroups discovery and do not reflect any degree of closeness to each other.]
The four main mt DNA haplogroups for Ashkenazi Jews are K (32%), H (21%), N1b (10%) and J1 (7%). 
Apart from Ashkenazic Jews (32%) K is found at its highest levels amongst Druze (16%) of the Middle East and in the British Isles (10%).
H (21% of Ashkenazim) is found throughout Europe accounting for ca.50% all over.
N1b (10% in Ashkenazim) is found at slightly lower levels in the Caucasus etc.
J1 (7% of Ashkenazim) is found at ca. 12% in Britain and 7% in Germany and European Russia.

Brit-Am DNA: The Matriarchs

Jewish DNA comparted to that of Western Peoples
(a) The Males:
Jews are mainly a Middle Eastern People with some European admixture.
British YDNA  I 15% R1a 10% R1b 75% could be compared to Jewish:
British haplogroup I at 15% (in Norway 30%) compares to Jewish J2 at 30%: I is another type of J. The two interchange and are often confused with each other.
British R1a at 10% (30% in Norway) compares to 20% amongst Ashkenazim.
British R1b at 75% (close to 90% in Ireland) compares only to ca. 15% amongst Sephardic Jews.
[ R1b1b2 (West European type of R1b) has recently been found in the Egyptian Mummies (family of Tutankhamen) lending substance to the suggestion that it originated in the Middle East and moved westward only recently in historical terms. ]

R1b did come from the region of Israel. Its relative scarcity today amongst Jews could be ascribed to Genetic Drift.
In addition it needs to be remembered that R1b is one of the most complicated haplogroups in existence. Most other haplogroups are simplified versions of it.
Changes in genetic structure usually delete rather than add. Y Haplogroups now common amongst Jews (such as J2, E1b1b1, etc) could yet be revealed as formerly R1b types whose superfluous additions (that distinguish R1b from other haplogroups) were simply discarded due to some environmental contingency.
Reversed: Were R1 and N The Forefathers?
It could be that since the Jews (Judah) remained in the Middle East area for 800 or more years after the Ten Tribes were exiled that Judah was subject to the same environmental influences that affected the ancestors of Kurds, Turks, and Armenians etc whose YDNA is similar? What are considered parental types of R1b are found amongst these peoples albeit in most (but not all) regions in relatively minor proportions. One of the regions through which the Ten Tribes migrated is Armenia and southern Armenia has been posited as a place of origin of R1b:
## in this region is "a huge ancient megalithic structure there, called Karahunj...seems to have also served as an observatory - much like Newgrange in Ireland or Stonehenge in England.
It would also seem that the population of this Southern Armenia area is 40-45% R1b:

(b) The Females
MtDNA is an outcome of environment. Jewish mtDNA reflects the areas the areas Jews dwelt in. Even so it does show some specific characteristic distribution of its own such as the presence of K at 32% which is also, when compared to other countries, found at a relatively high rate (ca. 10%) in the British Isles.

West European DNA and the Possibility of Middle East Origins
In case it has not been yet made sufficiently clear we hold that both male Y Chromosome markers and female mtDNA markers result somehow or other from reactions to environmental influence that are subsequently inherited. This is not evolution. It is simply an inbuilt mechanism of adaption possessed by all living beings. However the markers are acquired they are subsequently inherited and therefore may be used to trace migratory paths.
Male YDNA haplogroup I is found in Sardinia and Southeast Europe as well as amongst Scandinavians. It is ca. 30% in Norway and 15% in Britain. It is another type of J which is Middle Eastern in origin and still has its highest frequencies in the Middle East.
We are not at present claiming that there is proof that the ancestors of all those in the west now bearing haplogroup I once came from the Middle East. The probability however is a high one and that is sufficient.
R1b1b2 is now predominant in Western Europe. It is relatively rare in the Middle East but it is found there as well as having been present amongst the Tutankhamen family of Egyptian pharaohs. It is now considered to have originated in the Middle East.
Not so long ago R1b was thought to have originated in the Iberian Peninsula (i.e. Spain and Portugal) but now it is admitted that most of the evidence points to the former regions of Greater Israel as the place of origin, e.g.

Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)

# It was initially believed that R1b, or at least the majority of it in Europe, dispersed from Iberia after the Last Glacial Maximum, and had only come from Asia much earlier. A variant of this idea was that there may have been two separate R1b dispersals in the Mesolithic period, one from Anatolia, and one from Iberia.[4] However, more recently it has become more widely accepted that R1b entered Europe from Asia more recently, perhaps in the Neolithic.[6][7] #

Wikipedia Map Showing Presumed origin of R1b in the region of ancient Israel.

BAMAD no.70
#4. Ancestry of 80 per cent of European men traced to "Iraq and Syria"!

# After studying the DNA of more than 2,000 men, researchers say they have compelling evidence that four out of five white Europeans can trace their roots to the Near East. #

It is now generally accepted that the most probable region of origin for R1b in general is the Middle East somewhere around Anatolia (Turkey), Syria, and/or Iraq. This overlaps the region of Ancient Israel. It was assumed that bearers of R1b would have arrived in Europe in the Late Stone Ages (Neolithic times) and that the differentiation into European specific type (R1b1b2) occurred later in Europe itself. These assumptions have been upset recently.
Actual DNA tests on human remains from the Neolithic period show that the DNA then was quite different.  The mtDNA was entirely different. The YChromosome DNA cannot be examined since it decays at a faster rate. Nevertheless it is now assumed that bearers of R1b were evidently not present. They must have arrived at a later date. 
Brit-Am Now no. 1450
#4. Setting the record Straight: What Does DNA Really Say'
## 82% of mtDNA found in hunter gatherer populations does not exist in the modern population ##
##  The interesting aspect is that the
neolithic population is different from both the hunter gather population and the modern day population. ##
## I actually saw a segment about this on
(a German news service in English) just a few hours ago, so it's obviously a very current topic.
It pretty much just said that R1b1b2 originated in the fertile crescent and that "almost all" Irish males carry it. ##

See also:
BAMAD no.70
#5. What is the truth about Israelite DNA'

The findings from Egyptian Mummies show R1b1b2 from around 1200 BCE or much later if (as seems likely) the Chronology is to be revised. Lacking contradictory evidence we are safe (for the time being at least) in assuming that R1b12 originated in the Middle East and then moved to Western Europe at a relatively late date!

DNA Studies in their present state do not confirm the belief that descendants of Ancient Israelites populated regions of Western Europe. Even if some kind of connection between the region of Ancient Israel and the west can be affirmed this does not mean that the people were Israelites. They could have been any one of a number of ancient peoples or a combination of them, e.g. Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, Phoenician-Canaanites, Assyrians, Amorites, Egyptians, etc.
Nevertheless the very fact that we can now show the high probability (according to conventional DNA studies) of West Europeans having come from the general geographical area of Ancient Israel within the overall time-frame of Israelite Exile should make our beliefs more feasible and acceptable.
Ultimately beliefs of Brit-Am Lost Tribes of Israel Movement are justified by the Bible. Nevertheless we are only human and we need our convictions to be consistent with human understanding. It therefore helps to know that a transference of population in Ancient Times such as that we consider to have taken place is consistent with DNA findings.

Appendix: Jewish Male DNA in More Detail
# Only 5-8% of the Ashkenazi gene pool is comprised of Y chromosomes that originated from non-Jewish European populations # (Behar et al. 2004b).

Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA)
Haplogroup J2 is found mainly in the Fertile Crescent, the Caucasus,[5] Anatolia, the Balkans, Italy, the Mediterranean littoral, the Iranian plateau, Central Asia, and South Asia.[1.... Iraqis 29.7% [23], Lebanese 25%[24], Palestinians 16.8%[1], Syrians 22.5% [25], Sephardic Jews 29%, Kurds 28.4%, Saudi Arabia 15.92%[26],Jordan 14.3%, Oman 10-15%[27],...J2 is found at very high frequencies in the peoples of the Caucasus - among the Georgians 21%[5]-72%,[6] Azeris 24%[7]-48%,[6] Ingush 32%,[8] Chechens 26%,[8] Balkars 24%,[13] Ossetians 24%,[8] Armenians 21.3%[6]-24%,[8] and other groups.[5][8]

The Cohanim (Cohens) are the Priestly Group amongst the Jews. They descend from Aaron, brother of Moses. Membership of this class passes through the male line.
Around 80% of Cohens are J2. Half of these have the CMH or Cohen Module Haplotype which has been named after them. Only about 5% of other Jews have the CMH. The CMH however is also found amongst other peoples, in some cases at high frequencies. The CMH appears both in J1 and J2 and elsewhere. It cannot be explained entirely by inherited factors, i.e. it might indicate common ancestry in some cases but not always. The CMH is actually evidence of environmental influence at some crucial point in the past having had specific localized effects on certain groups that shared common attributes.
At all events the high proportion of J2 and accompanying CMH amongst Cohens indicates that J2 may go back to the beginning and be basic to the Jewish People.

The E1b1b clade is presently found in various forms in the Horn of Africa, North Africa, parts of Eastern, Western, and Southern Africa, West Asia, and Europe (especially the Mediterranean and the Balkans)[2][3][10][11].

E1b1b and E1b1b1 are quite common amongst Afro-Asiatic speakers. The linguistic group and E1b1b1 may have dispersed together from the region of origin of this language family.[12][13][14] Amongst populations with an Afro-Asiatic speaking history, a significant proportion of Jewish male lineages are E1b1b1 (E-M35).[15] Haplogroup E1b1b1, which accounts for approximately 18%[3] to 20%[16][17] of Ashkenazi and 8.6%[18] to 30%[3] of Sephardi Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.[19]

# However, Behar (2003) reports finding a significantly higher frequency of haplogroup K* among Sephardic Levites (23%) and Sephardic Israelites (13%), perhaps the highest frequency of K* found among any European population.  This may indicate that some of Ashkenazi K* is, in fact, of Israelite origin.  #
by Ellen Levy-Coffman

Appendix: Jewish Female DNA in More Detail
Most Female Jewish mtDNA is similar to that of the peoples they dwelt amongst though an underlying similarity between different Jewish groups (e.g. Morrocco and Ashkenazim) has also been noticed. In Europe most Asheknazim are supposed to be descended from four mothers (sic) who lived not much more than a thousand years ago. This unusual result is explained by the existence of a genetic bottleneck.

According to Behar (2004a), only four mtDNA groups account for approximately 70% of Ashkenazi mtDNA results.  These haplogroups are K (32%), H (21%), N1b (10%) and J1 (7%). 

The haplogroups that comprise the remaining 30% of Ashkenazim mtDNA including the following:  J (J*, J1, J2), T (T*, T1-T5), HV1, U6 (U6a*, U6a1, U6b), HV*, W, X, I, M*, U4, U1a/U1b, U2/U2e, U3, R (R*, R1, R2). 

K is mostly K1a which is almost unique to Jews.
K is found in 32% of Ashkenazis, amongst Druze (16%), and in the British Isles (ca. 10%), general Europe population 6%.
H was 21% Ashkenazim and more than 50% of the general European population. In Arabia HV is predominant and this is considered the parent of both H and V.
MtDNA haplogroup N1b is related to N1a which accounted for ca. 25% of European Neolithic populations but is rare today though it is still found in East Africa.
Haplogroup N1b - found in Middle East, Egypt, Caucasus and Europe. It is considered to have originated in the Middle East.
N1b has been associated with Armenia, Georgia, Phoenicia, Phoenicians, Caucasus.
N1b ....appears to be spread throughout eastern and western Ashkenazim at almost equal frequencies (Behar et al. 2004a, Supplementary Material).

mtDNA J1 is local to Europe at ca. 2% in general. Ashkenazic Jews at ca. 7%.
It is highest in Ireland (12%), England, and Wales (11%), Scotland (9%), Germany (7%), European Russia (7%).
Related types include J1a = Austria-Switzerland - 3%  and J1b1 = Scotland - 4%.

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