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Sikeliot
03-31-2019, 03:34 PM
Decided to make a separate thread for this so it doesn't spill over into the one about ancient DNA. I will continue to add to this:

SPREADSHEET URL:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZYwwG320ojRJ8LKCYIvjfhnF5XtxH-cg5DTaCFbK-1I/edit#gid=0

If you wish for me to begin adding other Italian regions as well as Greeks, please let me know and I may begin to do this. I find MyHeritage to be among the most accurate and most revealing for Sicilians, in fact.

Overall, what I see is strong evidence of an Aegean and Italic substrate for nearly all Sicilians, showing the omnipresent settlement of Greeks and various assimilated and/or later added layers of Italian settlement, with varying levels of MENA input, most significant in Palermo and dropping to much less significant levels in the Southeast.

Eastern Sicily observations:

1. "Italian" is the top score for much of eastern Sicily... all but one of the results from Catania scores "Italian" first, and the Enna and Ragusa results do, too. The one result from the city of Messina, rather than just the province, scores 72% "Italian" also.

2. The rest of the results from Messina and the one from Syracuse, on the other hand, are scoring almost no "Italian" and instead have very high "Greek." For most Messinese, they also require around 10-20% "Sardinian" to round out their European.

3. As expected, Syracuse, Enna, and Ragusa have some of the lowest combined "MENA" scores on the island, with the Syracusan in particular being among the lowest on the entire spreadsheet and not scoring any "North African" at all. This should not surprise as direct MENA settlement in these areas was historically very low.

The best understanding of eastern Sicily is, to me, of a native Italic population showing genetic continuity with people much further north in the Italian Peninsula, who absorbed significant Aegean ancestry, and, with a few exceptions, fairly limited MENA input. Any MENA input, in my view, spilled over from the West of the island and would have arrived much later than it did in the West, and as far as the East of the island goes it would be highest in the mountainous regions of Messina province closer to the border with Palermo province. While the entire eastern coast of Sicily was a very dense settlement area for Greeks, it was also the homeland of the Siculi people, an Italic group from mainland Italy... therefore any remaining ancestry from them may be matching with modern day north-central and central Italians and being read as "Italian."

Western Sicily observations:

1. Palermo has some remarkably high outliers for combined "MENA" especially driven by increased "West Asian" which for several individuals exceeds 20%. Two of the people on the chart from this province have "West Asian" as their singular highest score, exceeding their Italian or their Greek. One Palermitan in particular scores above 50% in combined MENA. High scores can be found for both "Italian" and "Greek" although Greece has the edge overall. Palermitans are, perhaps, the most evenly split between Italian, Greek, and MENA.

2. Agrigento and Trapani lean more heavily toward "Greek" and are less "Italian" than Palermo, with Trapani on average more European than Agrigento. This should make sense if we understand people from Agrigento to be the source population for the Maltese. Agrigento overall have stable, significant levels of MENA, though I do not see as many outliers as Palermo.

3. One person from Agrigento, the only one I have found from any part of Sicily for whom this applies, scores "Iberian" as their highest score at 31.2%. Could this be related to those ancient populations whom may have had partial Iberian origin?

I have no results from Caltanissetta.

What interests me is that any "Italian" scored here is logically post-Crusades, as there was never a native Italic population in western Sicily and the region was partially repopulated by mainland Italians during Norman rule. Therefore, we can conclude that before repopulation, Palermitans especially would have been overwhelmingly shifted toward MENAs. The Hellenization of western Sicily apparently did lead to genetic exchange between the Greeks and Punic populations, with the Greek input, overall, dominating. But when we see inflated combined MENA scores for western Sicily, it clearly means that a significant part of their ancestry cannot be read as either "Italian" "Greek" "Sardinian nor "Iberian" and indeed over half of both Palermo and Agrigento samples exceed 30%+ combined MENA, this is not the case for the other regions on average.

Nibelung
03-31-2019, 04:10 PM
Nice! And not that it's a requirement, but I see you've found a couple of Palermo province individuals at 13% NW European. Are these similar to the Trapani Normanesques (in the Sicilian context no offence meant) you've mentioned before?

Sikeliot
03-31-2019, 04:16 PM
After averaging for each part of the island I can say conclusively that the most distinctive areas are as follows:

Higher average Italian than Greek: Catania, Enna, Ragusa --> ancient Sicels/Siculi impact?
High MENA outliers: Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento --> Punic/Arab/Berber and/or Elymian?
Low average MENA: Enna, Ragusa, Syracuse --> This makes sense, these regions were never settled en masse by MENAs.

Many of my Messina samples are from Alcara li Fusi, a town that was founded under Arab rule which is likely unrepresentative for the province as a whole. If some of these were removed, the MENA average would drop right down to Enna/Syracuse/Ragusa levels, in which case Catania remains the only East Sicilian province scoring West Sicilian levels of MENA.


Nice! And not that it's a requirement, but I see you've found a couple of Palermo province individuals at 13% NW European. Are these similar to the Trapani Normanesques (in the Sicilian context no offence meant) you've mentioned before?

They are outliers but yes, I would not discount this possibility, though as we have someone from Enna scoring similarly being from an area with Gallo-Italic settlement, it could be from North Italians, not Normans.

Interestingly in my spreadsheet I don't find Trapani to differ from the rest of western Sicily. The big differences are in parts of eastern Sicily.

mildlycurly
03-31-2019, 07:27 PM
It's well known that Italian and Jewish genes often overlap, so the Ashkenazi and North African Jewish results aren't surprising.

However, some of them are VERY Jewish-shifted- take the person from Agrigento who scores nearly a quarter North African Jewish! Surely these people with such high scores have a legitimate Jewish ancestor somewhere down the line (as this is Sicily, this is unsurprising). However, Myheritage needs a lot of work done.

Sikeliot
03-31-2019, 07:30 PM
It's well known that Italian and Jewish genes often overlap, so the Ashkenazi and North African Jewish results aren't surprising.

However, some of them are VERY Jewish-shifted- take the person from Agrigento who scores nearly a quarter North African Jewish! Surely these people with such high scores have a legitimate Jewish ancestor somewhere down the line (as this is Sicily, this is unsurprising).

I think there is North African and Levantine being hidden in that North African Jewish cluster, which includes Jews from Libya all the way to Morocco. It might signal Punic ancestry in some way, though as we know some North African Jews have Iberian/Italic like ancestry also and as such this cluster might be arising by chance, by sucking up both Punic, Berber, and native Sicilian ancestry. It is quite interesting how this component has far higher outliers than the Ashkenazi one, and is more common in western Sicily rather than east.

Sikeliot
03-31-2019, 10:40 PM
Updates:

3 Palermitans have been added, one with a 55/45 split of Euro/MENA from Cinisi and Termini Imerese (Greek > Italian), and another who is 80/20 Europe/MENA from Cinisi and Balestrate (Italian > Greek), and finally one with a 65/35 Euro/MENA split whose highest European component is Greek, but has 13% NW European!

2 East Sicilians have been added: one Messinese, with 64.6% Italian, no Greek(!) and the rest MENA. The other is from Modica, Ragusa and has an 80/20 Euro/MENA split, and their highest European component is also Italian.

digital_noise
03-31-2019, 10:56 PM
Not that I can add much to the conversation but between various uploads to MH, I have seen 25% Greek and 5% Italian to 15% for Greek and 15% Italian. My Aunt on the other had gets 27% Balkan and 36% Italian. Its confusing when you are dealing with people of partial SE Euro ethnicity.

Sikeliot
03-31-2019, 11:43 PM
Not that I can add much to the conversation but between various uploads to MH, I have seen 25% Greek and 5% Italian to 15% for Greek and 15% Italian. My Aunt on the other had gets 27% Balkan and 36% Italian. Its confusing when you are dealing with people of partial SE Euro ethnicity.

Are you suggesting there is overlap between the "Italian" and "Greek" components? I wondered this since I have seen Aegean islanders scoring significant Italian, too.

TonyC
04-01-2019, 12:03 AM
It seems that on 23 and me there is a significant Greek Island/Sicilian-Italian overlap. My first cousin (shared maternal ancestry) is half Island Greek (Samos) and scores 30% Italian compared to mine which is 8% (full mainland Greek).

Sikeliot
04-01-2019, 01:10 AM
It seems that on 23 and me there is a significant Greek Island/Sicilian-Italian overlap. My first cousin (shared maternal ancestry) is half Island Greek (Samos) and scores 30% Italian compared to mine which is 8% (full mainland Greek).

The same is true for Myheritage for many, so I am now wondering if we shouldn't assume "Italian" could not be partially from Greek ancestors also.

digital_noise
04-01-2019, 02:15 AM
Are you suggesting there is overlap between the "Italian" and "Greek" components? I wondered this since I have seen Aegean islanders scoring significant Italian, too.

not sure, other than its seems pretty random

Sikeliot
04-01-2019, 11:47 AM
not sure, other than its seems pretty random

What is interesting is if you go by the Myheritage results, conventional belief of eastern Sicily being homogeneously more Greek than the west is not true, because some of the results with the lowest Greek and highest Italian are in Catania and Ragusa which form a continuous area in eastern Sicily. On the other hand many of the West Sicilian results have significant Greek which, to me, is evidence of early admixture between Punic people and Greeks as Magna Graecia expanded west across the island. If I had to guess, I'd assume eastern Sicily was more densely populated in pre-Greek times than was the west.

JMcB
04-01-2019, 05:04 PM
Are you suggesting there is overlap between the "Italian" and "Greek" components? I wondered this since I have seen Aegean islanders scoring significant Italian, too.

That reminds me of a paper I read recently. It dates to 2017 so you may have seen it before but perhaps it’s still apropos, for those who haven’t.


Ancient and recent admixture layers in Sicily and Southern Italy trace multiple migration routes along the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean shores stretching between Sicily, Southern Italy and the Southern Balkans witnessed a long series of migration processes and cultural exchanges. Accordingly, present-day population diversity is composed by multiple genetic layers, which make the deciphering of different ancestral and historical contributes particularly challenging. We address this issue by genotyping 511 samples from 23 populations of Sicily, Southern Italy, Greece and Albania with the Illumina GenoChip Array, also including new samples from Albanian- and Greek-speaking ethno-linguistic minorities of Southern Italy. Our results reveal a shared Mediterranean genetic continuity, extending from Sicily to Cyprus, where Southern Italian populations appear genetically closer to Greek-speaking islands than to continental Greece. Besides a predominant Neolithic background, we identify traces of Post-Neolithic Levantine- and Caucasus-related ancestries, compatible with maritime Bronze-Age migrations. We argue that these results may have important implications in the cultural history of Europe, such as in the diffusion of some Indo-European languages. Instead, recent historical expansions from North- Eastern Europe account for the observed differentiation of present-day continental Southern Balkan groups. Patterns of IBD-sharing directly reconnect Albanian-speaking Arbereshe with a recent Balkan- source origin, while Greek-speaking communities of Southern Italy cluster with their Italian-speaking neighbours suggesting a long-term history of presence in Southern Italy.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434004/pdf/41598_2017_Article_1802.pdf

JoeyP37
04-01-2019, 05:29 PM
I have great-great-grandparents from Palermo; I was named after their son (my great-grandfather) who was born shortly after they arrived in the United States. Now I tested with 23andMe, but I have no West Asian or North African, while I do have Iberian, Italian, and Balkan. My Nana said that her grandparents (the Palermo great-great-grandparents I mentioned) spoke Greek, but I have not read anything that said a Greek-speaking community lasted that long in the western part of the island. I have theorized that what she thought was Greek was actually the Arbereshe Albanian dialect, because there are settlements of that people near Palermo; one settlement, Piana degli Albanesi (Plain of the Albanians) was called Piana degli Greci (Plain of the Greeks) until World War 2. Giving this genetic data a whirl, I have come to a conclusion that my great-great-grandmother was Arbereshe; my great-grandfather Joseph was tall, over six feet, while his father was only 5'6" (which is normal for Mediterranean Italians; my stepfather, of predominantly southern Italian descent, is also that height); Dinaric people, including Albanians, are known for their height.

Sikeliot
04-01-2019, 11:42 PM
I have great-great-grandparents from Palermo; I was named after their son (my great-grandfather) who was born shortly after they arrived in the United States. Now I tested with 23andMe, but I have no West Asian or North African, while I do have Iberian, Italian, and Balkan. My Nana said that her grandparents (the Palermo great-great-grandparents I mentioned) spoke Greek, but I have not read anything that said a Greek-speaking community lasted that long in the western part of the island. I have theorized that what she thought was Greek was actually the Arbereshe Albanian dialect, because there are settlements of that people near Palermo; one settlement, Piana degli Albanesi (Plain of the Albanians) was called Piana degli Greci (Plain of the Greeks) until World War 2. Giving this genetic data a whirl, I have come to a conclusion that my great-great-grandmother was Arbereshe; my great-grandfather Joseph was tall, over six feet, while his father was only 5'6" (which is normal for Mediterranean Italians; my stepfather, of predominantly southern Italian descent, is also that height); Dinaric people, including Albanians, are known for their height.


I do know that parts of Trapani had a Greek-speaking community longer than Palermo and Agrigento, which were Arabized very quickly, but I know that this would not have lasted long past the Norman era.

Sikeliot
04-01-2019, 11:44 PM
That reminds me of a paper I read recently. It dates to 2017 so you may have seen it before but perhaps it’s still apropos, for those who haven’t.


Ancient and recent admixture layers in Sicily and Southern Italy trace multiple migration routes along the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean shores stretching between Sicily, Southern Italy and the Southern Balkans witnessed a long series of migration processes and cultural exchanges. Accordingly, present-day population diversity is composed by multiple genetic layers, which make the deciphering of different ancestral and historical contributes particularly challenging. We address this issue by genotyping 511 samples from 23 populations of Sicily, Southern Italy, Greece and Albania with the Illumina GenoChip Array, also including new samples from Albanian- and Greek-speaking ethno-linguistic minorities of Southern Italy. Our results reveal a shared Mediterranean genetic continuity, extending from Sicily to Cyprus, where Southern Italian populations appear genetically closer to Greek-speaking islands than to continental Greece. Besides a predominant Neolithic background, we identify traces of Post-Neolithic Levantine- and Caucasus-related ancestries, compatible with maritime Bronze-Age migrations. We argue that these results may have important implications in the cultural history of Europe, such as in the diffusion of some Indo-European languages. Instead, recent historical expansions from North- Eastern Europe account for the observed differentiation of present-day continental Southern Balkan groups. Patterns of IBD-sharing directly reconnect Albanian-speaking Arbereshe with a recent Balkan- source origin, while Greek-speaking communities of Southern Italy cluster with their Italian-speaking neighbours suggesting a long-term history of presence in Southern Italy.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434004/pdf/41598_2017_Article_1802.pdf


The above was the first study to show what we already knew: Greek islanders and South Italians/Sicilians are genetically closer due to their ancient Aegean and, to some extent, post-Neolithic MENA input, while mainland Greeks are heavily Slavicized. The question is, though, how much "Italian" on MyHeritage do Aegean islanders score. I've seen 33% as the highest so far, which exceeds that of many Sicilians. So this component is not Italian-specific. On 23andme, Greek islanders also score much more "Italian" rather than Balkan/Greek.

Sizzles
04-02-2019, 05:33 PM
Confusing. So if 2 of my great grandparents are from Cerda , polermo Sicily I should be what exactly? Italian, Greek, Western Asia, North African or middle eastern . Lucas chromosome report plots me northern Italian yet I am Sicilian. Think I will upload my mother who 50%?sicilian to MH. By the way my heritage inflates my Italian to 31.3%. I am also 5o% Croatian.

Sikeliot
04-02-2019, 10:41 PM
Confusing. So if 2 of my great grandparents are from Cerda , polermo Sicily I should be what exactly? Italian, Greek, Western Asia, North African or middle eastern . Lucas chromosome report plots me northern Italian yet I am Sicilian. Think I will upload my mother who 50%?sicilian to MH. By the way my heritage inflates my Italian to 31.3%. I am also 5o% Croatian.

Your relative from Cerda would probably be closest to the ones on my spreadsheet from Termini Imerese, Alia, or Valledolmo as they are located pretty closely.

Italian, Greek, West Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African probably.

Sikeliot
04-05-2019, 01:07 AM
RECENT ADDITIONS:

1. New Palermo sample: scores 70% combined European, 30% combined MENA. Italian is higher than Greek.

digital_noise
04-19-2019, 05:48 PM
I just noticed that My Heritage updated at some point their South Euro categories. The old categories were Iberian, Italian, Greek, Sardinian. Mine now says Greek and South Italian. @Sikeliot, I wonder if your samples posted here changed at all? My aunt's results didnt, nor did my daughters, but mine did...

Nino90
04-19-2019, 06:21 PM
I just noticed that My Heritage updated at some point their South Euro categories. The old categories were Iberian, Italian, Greek, Sardinian. Mine now says Greek and South Italian.

Thanks! I just noticed that my fathers 8% Greece changed to Greece and South Italy.
Good they changed name on that category. Because South Italians and Greeks are very similar.
They should remove the Sardinian category. I know this thread is about South Italians so don't want to go too much off topic.
He also score 9.8% West Asian. How much does an average South Italian score?

digital_noise
04-19-2019, 06:30 PM
no idea with My Heritage. It seems to vary between West Asian, North African and Middle East and I do not know what the criteria is that determines this. Many of my matches are 70% European and 30% Middle eastern. (25% Middle East and 5% other, usually Ashkenazi, West Asian or north African)
29913

Sikeliot
04-19-2019, 10:10 PM
Thanks! I just noticed that my fathers 8% Greece changed to Greece and South Italy.
Good they changed name on that category. Because South Italians and Greeks are very similar.
They should remove the Sardinian category. I know this thread is about South Italians so don't want to go too much off topic.
He also score 9.8% West Asian. How much does an average South Italian score?

The 'Greek and South Italian' category should be seen as baseline, meaning that any Greek who isn't heavily Slavicized or any South Italian without substantial MENA or North Italian affinity will default to this category. Otherwise, you'll see Greeks scoring "Balkan" and Italians scoring various categories.

As can be expected, this category is much higher in island Greeks, and is lower in northern Greece where the Balkan category predominates.


I just noticed that My Heritage updated at some point their South Euro categories. The old categories were Iberian, Italian, Greek, Sardinian. Mine now says Greek and South Italian. @Sikeliot, I wonder if your samples posted here changed at all? My aunt's results didnt, nor did my daughters, but mine did...

None of my samples changed in percent, the category names were all that changed.