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Srananšao
03-10-2021, 02:12 AM
What does SSA actually mean in a genetic context? This is something that I have wondered for some time. Since certain components seem to be considered SSA but are found or arose in or above the Sahara. An example would be e1b1a possibly arising North of the Sahara but now being considered SSA. Or even ANA being related to other SSA components. So what is SSA just a geographical term, components mostly found in SSA today or something else entirely?

okarinaofsteiner
03-10-2021, 02:37 AM
In the MDLP K23b calculator context, it specifically refers to Bantu and Bantu-like ancestry. This calculator also has "East_African", "Khoisan", "African_Pygmy", and "Archaic_African" reference components.

https://i.imgur.com/ywwKBS2l.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/BmZRlTQl.jpg

Michalis Moriopoulos
03-10-2021, 02:41 AM
It depends on the context. Usually it's used as a wastebasket taxon for pre-Eurasian variation characteristic today of sub-Saharan Africa. Still, sensing a need to differentiate the layers of pre-OoA diversity that existed in Africa in the past and recognizing that pre-OoA ancestry was also strongly represented in North Africa as late as the Mesolithic (i.e., the ANA in Iberomaurusians), I prefer to use a term like "Deep African" to refer to pre-OoA variation so as to not confine the pre-OoA conversation to south of the Sahara. But SSA as shorthand for pre-OoA is generally fine by me when talking about moderns since most pre-OoA variation today is indeed confined to sub-Saharan Africa. ANA is only a minor component in modern North Africans and Eurasians so it doesn't really factor into the calculus much. Generally speaking, when using terms like "SSA ancestry" we're usually talking about Tropical African (West African or Nilote-like) ancestry in the context of admixture into non-SSA groups (like, say, Egyptians or Yemenis). It's not really useful to talk about SSA ancestry in sub-Saharan Africa itself since there's a need to be more specific there.

Megalophias
03-10-2021, 02:47 AM
An example would be e1b1a possibly arising North of the Sahara but now being considered SSA. Or even ANA being related to other SSA components. So what is SSA just a geographical term, components mostly found in SSA today or something else entirely?
People use it to mean slightly different and sometimes incoherent things. But mainly people use it to mean genetic components that are geographically Sub-Saharan and not nested within non-Sub-Saharan variation. Y haplogroup E is ambiguous in whether it falls within non-Sub-Saharan variation or not, which has caused many a pointless argument, but most of its diversity is Sub-Saharan today anyway.

okarinaofsteiner
03-10-2021, 04:30 AM
Generally speaking, when using terms like "SSA ancestry" we're usually talking about Tropical African (West African or Nilote-like) ancestry in the context of admixture into non-SSA groups (like, say, Egyptians or Yemenis). It's not really useful to talk about SSA ancestry in sub-Saharan Africa itself since there's a need to be more specific there.

Pretty much this.

Srananšao
03-10-2021, 02:26 PM
It depends on the context. Usually it's used as a wastebasket taxon for pre-Eurasian variation characteristic today of sub-Saharan Africa. Still, sensing a need to differentiate the layers of pre-OoA diversity that existed in Africa in the past and recognizing that pre-OoA ancestry was also strongly represented in North Africa as late as the Mesolithic (i.e., the ANA in Iberomaurusians), I prefer to use a term like "Deep African" to refer to pre-OoA variation so as to not confine the pre-OoA conversation to south of the Sahara. But SSA as shorthand for pre-OoA is generally fine by me when talking about moderns since most pre-OoA variation today is indeed confined to sub-Saharan Africa. ANA is only a minor component in modern North Africans and Eurasians so it doesn't really factor into the calculus much. Generally speaking, when using terms like "SSA ancestry" we're usually talking about Tropical African (West African or Nilote-like) ancestry in the context of admixture into non-SSA groups (like, say, Egyptians or Yemenis). It's not really useful to talk about SSA ancestry in sub-Saharan Africa itself since there's a need to be more specific there.

Thank you very much your explanation makes it a lot clearer. If you don't mind I would like to ask a follow up question. I have seen the term Saharan ancestry floating around. If I remember correctly it is maximized in Mozabites. Is this considered indigenous berber ancestry?

Michalis Moriopoulos
03-11-2021, 06:13 AM
Thank you very much your explanation makes it a lot clearer. If you don't mind I would like to ask a follow up question. I have seen the term Saharan ancestry floating around. If I remember correctly it is maximized in Mozabites. Is this considered indigenous berber ancestry?

Saharan ancestry wouldn't mean anything to me without additional context. One could be referring to everything from Saharawi to Beidane to Haratin to Mozabite to Toubou to Beja with a word like that. It could even refer to the "Saharans" in the sense of the Nilo-Saharan family.

Mozabites are garden variety West Eurasian Berbers; their ancestry is like what you see in other North Africans.