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View Full Version : Changes to AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates



Andrewid
06-17-2018, 11:01 AM
Since the changes, I have found my ethnicity estimates to be less 'relevant'. It's not that I disagree with anything in particular it's just that with the new categorisations, the results need to be interpreted more carefully. People in the eastern Mediterranean have been shown to be a part of the Mediterranean continuum by several published peer reviewed articles. The original AncestryDNA designation for say Cypriots reflected this by showing a mixture of southern European as well as the Caucasus and the Middle East.

I am a Greek Cypriot and whilst previously I was attached to the 'Greece, Turkey, Albania' genetic community (with majority 'southern European'), that has now disappeared. Previously the software had a circle on a map encompassing Cyprus, which was extraordinarily accurate. Now all that's left is the Middle East and the Caucasus. The Middle East is far too broad a designation- Levantine populations cluster more closely with the Eastern Mediterranean than they do to say Gulf Arabs. Results on say FTDNA usefully divide the Middle East into Asia Minor, West Middle East (the Levant) and East Middle East.

Is anybody else finding the new categorisations on AncestryDNA unsatisfactory in terms of ethnicity estimates? Of course, we must respect the fact that these categorisations are by their very nature artificial constructs and subjective.

mwoneill7
06-17-2018, 04:10 PM
The loss of your genetic community is separate from the new ethnicity estimates. Iím not sure why you lost the genetic community, but I know that they are completely separate from ethnicity estimates, and I think they update them more often. I agree that your loss of that community is disappointing, but the new ethnicity estimates actually have more specific regions in the Eastern Mediterranean region (I.e. Greece/Balkans, Italy, Middle East, Turkey/Caucasus, Iran/Persia instead of Europe south, Middle East, and Caucasus). I agree that they should subdivide the Middle East to distinguish Levantine from gulf Arab, but this was not the case in the old estimate either. Ancestry certainly has more work to do with its ethnicity estimates, but IMO the new update is at least in the right direction.