View Full Version : What is the best explanation for why Trapani, Sicily doesn't plot with Crete?

07-04-2019, 09:31 PM
I am posting this because although this has been brought up in other threads, no conclusive explanation has been given and I am hoping we can use the evidence we have to figure this out! :)

The new Cretan study explicitly states in the Supplementary Info, the following, which we already knew based on GEDMatch and Global 25 samples:

c. PCA plot for Cretans and Sicily. There is an overlap between most of the Sicilians with the Cretan
samples. With the exception of two samples from Trapani, the Sicilians seem to be in the same cluster as the Cretans.

Which of the following explanations might explain this? I am going to provide possible explanations, and then state what I see as the likelihood of each:

1. Retention of older, pre-Greek and pre-Phoenician Sicilian ancestry.

I do NOT think this is likely, even though it has been suggested. Trapani was at the center of Phoenician, Arab, and Norman colonization of the island, and was far from being the most remote or isolated region.

2. Low Greek presence in Trapani compared to other provinces combined with one or more of the above factors.

This also seems unlikely to me, because Trapani was completely Hellenized during Roman times along with the rest of the island. There is no reason to believe that Greek settlement, a huge demographic event in Sicily, would have bypassed Trapani especially since there are documented Greek towns there (Selinunte being one of the largest).

3. Norman, British, and Italian repopulation affected Trapani much more than other regions.

I see this as the most likely, because likely Norman haplogroups are highest in Trapani (I1, certain R1b subclades), and I have even seen rare examples of British-sounding surnames in the region (I've seen "Dalton" and "Spencer" as surnames in very rare instances for people from Trapani province but no such thing in other parts of Sicily) and I do remember reading that there was a small British presence in some coastal towns dating to the 1700s or 1800s, likely around the same time as British presence in Malta. Additionally, as Trapani was once the most Islamized province, there would have been greater incentive to resettle it with Christians from mainland Italy.

07-07-2019, 01:42 PM
IMO, both higher Norman (and other Northern European admixture or West Med admixture) AND North African admixture.

07-07-2019, 01:58 PM
IMO, both higher Norman (and other Northern European admixture or West Med admixture) AND North African admixture.

Yes. I forgot the North African admixture being higher but that must also be true. I have seen evidence for this as well. It is probably overlooked because Trapani on a PCA plots north of other Sicilians and Cretans.

I am making a related thread on genetic variation in the Aegean islands.