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MEurope55
11-04-2021, 01:16 AM
Are we certain that Ashkenazi Jews have at least a small North African ancestral component? Do other Western Jews who lived in recent times outside of North Africa also share this component? If so, where do we think this component is most likely to come from and where was it assimilated? Is there uniparental evidence as well?

Seabass
11-04-2021, 01:49 AM
Are we certain that Ashkenazi Jews have at least a small North African ancestral component?

I'm pretty confident they do.


Do other Western Jews who lived in recent times outside of North Africa also share this component?

They all appear to. Highest in North African Jews and maybe lowest in Eastern Ashkenazi Jews and Romaniotes. With the Egyptian Karaites it's been difficult to determine if they have a small Berber strain too.


If so, where do we think this component is most likely to come from and where was it assimilated?

This I would love to know! Some speculate it could be a relic of Cyrenaican Jewry who may have assimilated some berbers. There were very small numbers of North African Jewish families in the Ottoman ruled Balkans and Asia Minor, so I definitely don't think they were the main conduit for Berber into Ashkenazim.


Is there uniparental evidence as well?

In North African and Sephardic Jews yes, but regarding Ashkenazi Jews, probably another member here can vouch.

StillWater
11-04-2021, 04:58 AM
In North African and Sephardic Jews yes, but regarding Ashkenazi Jews, probably another member here can vouch.

It's there.

leorcooper19
11-04-2021, 04:26 PM
There's clear uniparental evidence of (at least) classical North African ancestry in virtually all Western Jewish groups.

Ys:
https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-Y161794/
https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-MZ150*/
https://yfull.com/tree/E-PF6789*/
https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-Z5009/
https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-Y141637/

mtDNAs:
https://www.yfull.com/mtree/U6a7a1b/
https://www.yfull.com/mtree/L2a1l2a/ (probably)

Autosomally, Taforalt is also scored by all Western Jews as shown here:
47316

Compare with other East Meds here:
47317

When the Taforalt scores of Ashkenazim are in line with those of Sicilians, there's an obvious conclusion: Western Jews all have a real- yet minor- North African component.

leorcooper19
11-04-2021, 08:36 PM
Curiously, not many people know about how K1a1b1a's- the mega-lineage of Ashkenazim- closest modern matches are Tunisian Berbers: https://www.yfull.com/mtree/K1a1b1-b1a/

Upstream, at https://www.yfull.com/mtree/K1a1b1-b/ , those Moroccan samples are actually from 5000 ybp.

The IA Gaul commonly referenced as K1a1b1a is actually just K1a1b1-b1 as far as they were sequenced, with a no-call at the two positions defining K1a1b1a now.

So, even though I personally find a Gaulish origin likelier than a North African one, there's a decent case that the #1 maternal lineage of Ashkenazim- making up 20% of the population on average- is of North African origin.

grumpydaddybear
11-04-2021, 09:24 PM
Throwing spitballs here, but we have a span of 500-600 years from the fall of Rome to the rise of the Ashkenazim in the Rhine. It does appear that we often make a uni-directional assumption of movement: Israel -> Rome -> Germany -> E Europe. However w/i those 500-600 years, the movements could have been more complicated.

For example, as the Western Empire is collapsing, where could the Jews migrate? I would follow the relative safety of the Eastern Empire to Constantinople, Alexandria and maybe Carthage, no? The backflows into Italy / Southern Europe could be due to the temporary Byzantine rule in Italy or escape from the Arab invasions.

This possibility can bridge

1) the admixture evidence (above)
2) the timing of Levantine / Southern Europe admixture around 700-800AD
3) Razib Khan's "Rome as a genetic sink" thesis

What am I missing?

Cascio
11-05-2021, 08:32 AM
Throwing spitballs here, but we have a span of 500-600 years from the fall of Rome to the rise of the Ashkenazim in the Rhine. It does appear that we often make a uni-directional assumption of movement: Israel -> Rome -> Germany -> E Europe. However w/i those 500-600 years, the movements could have been more complicated.

For example, as the Western Empire is collapsing, where could the Jews migrate? I would follow the relative safety of the Eastern Empire to Constantinople, Alexandria and maybe Carthage, no? The backflows into Italy / Southern Europe could be due to the temporary Byzantine rule in Italy or escape from the Arab invasions.

This possibility can bridge

1) the admixture evidence (above)
2) the timing of Levantine / Southern Europe admixture around 700-800AD
3) Razib Khan's "Rome as a genetic sink" thesis

What am I missing?

The Jews would have been relatively safe in Byzantine-held cities of Italy like Rome,Naples and Ravenna, in southernmost Italy such as Apulia and Calabria,not to mention the island of Sicily. Istria too was not captured by the Lombards.

In any case the Lombards did not persecute the Jews in the regions that they ruled.

Also, Theodoric's Ostrogothic monarchy tolerated the Jews and Theodoric forced a Christian community in Italy to rebuild a synagogue it had burnt down, at its own expense.
To be fair, Theodoric was an Arian Christian who wanted to show his Catholic subjects who was in charge.

MEurope55
11-05-2021, 12:27 PM
Throwing spitballs here, but we have a span of 500-600 years from the fall of Rome to the rise of the Ashkenazim in the Rhine. It does appear that we often make a uni-directional assumption of movement: Israel -> Rome -> Germany -> E Europe. However w/i those 500-600 years, the movements could have been more complicated.

For example, as the Western Empire is collapsing, where could the Jews migrate? I would follow the relative safety of the Eastern Empire to Constantinople, Alexandria and maybe Carthage, no? The backflows into Italy / Southern Europe could be due to the temporary Byzantine rule in Italy or escape from the Arab invasions.

This possibility can bridge

1) the admixture evidence (above)
2) the timing of Levantine / Southern Europe admixture around 700-800AD
3) Razib Khan's "Rome as a genetic sink" thesis

What am I missing?

I want to talk about point 2, the timing:

I think this admixture date from Xue et al probably indicates a later minor admixture event, and we shouldn’t bend the far more likely theories (IMO) that Western Jews descend directly and heavily from Roman Era Jews to match the date of 700-800AD.

grumpydaddybear
11-05-2021, 03:36 PM
I want to talk about point 2, the timing:

I think this admixture date from Xue et al probably indicates a later minor admixture event, and we shouldn’t bend the far more likely theories (IMO) that Western Jews descend directly and heavily from Roman Era Jews to match the date of 700-800AD.

Agreed - my take is that this date is a statistical "artifact" - a mean of something, but not clear what if it applies to or what the variance is.

My only point is that the pathway of Western Jews may not be as linear as we currently assume.

grumpydaddybear
11-05-2021, 03:38 PM
The Jews would have been relatively safe in Byzantine-held cities of Italy like Rome,Naples and Ravenna, in southernmost Italy such as Apulia and Calabria,not to mention the island of Sicily. Istria too was not captured by the Lombards.

In any case the Lombards did not persecute the Jews in the regions that they ruled.

Also, Theodoric's Ostrogothic monarchy tolerated the Jews and Theodoric forced a Christian community in Italy to rebuild a synagogue it had burnt down, at its own expense.
To be fair, Theodoric was an Arian Christian who wanted to show his Catholic subjects who was in charge.

It's not just about physical safety. If the Jews were involved in commerce or professional trades, the demand for their services would be much less as Rome / Western Empire de-urbanized.

leorcooper19
11-05-2021, 04:19 PM
You're right that the historical migration and settlement of the communities that would become Ashkenaz and Sepharad is often over-simplified. I would say that's mostly because the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of these communities in and around the 10th century is effectively a Dark Age for Western Jews. It is a period we know so little about that scholars raised the narrative of replacement by Babylonian Jews to explain this apparent lack of continuity. However, now that we are confident of continuity between the two periods, we have to guess and extrapolate based on what little information we do have.

The second issue is that, despite what many might think, neither Ashkenazim nor Sephardim seem to be mostly descendant from any one early medieval community. Rather, we need to explore and embrace the multiplicity of our origins. Below I'll go into what myself and others have discussed as the likeliest routes, proportions, and origins of certain communities that seeded other, later, important ones.

Rhineland/Bney Hes: Most scholars agree that Rhenish Jewry of the 10th to 12th centuries derive mainly from Tsarfatim of North(eastern) France. However, with the Kalonymides, we can be pretty confident of a minor direct-from-Italy proportion in the mix as well. Tsarfatim, I think we can reasonably assume, are themselves mainly derived from early medieval Provençal Jewry, of whom a bit more than nothing is known.

Bavaria-Austria/Bney Khes: Relative to the Rhineland, much less is known about the proximate origins of the Jews of 10th to 12th century Bavaria and Austria, who we can be confident were at least of different stock than Rhenish Jews, based on Alexander Beider's onomastic work. The single likeliest source seems to be Northern Italian, the east of which (including towns such as Verona, Padua, and Trieste) was under the rule of the Duchy of Bavaria during the exact time Jews were first mentioned living in towns like Regensburg.

Bohemia/West Knaan: Even less is known about the origins of the so-called West Canaanites, the Old Czech-speaking Jews of Bohemia. They could have shared origins in Northern Italy with Bavaria-Austria, or could have derived from Jews of the Byzantine realm. Or, what I feel is most likely, a mix of both just as the Rhineland was a mix of Tsarfatim and direct-from-Italy Jews. The question of the inter-relatedness of the Bavarian-Austrian and Bohemian communities- beyond that they seemed to have at least culturally merged by the time Rhenish Jews started to migrate into towns like Regensburg and Prague- remains open.

East Knaan: Also little is known, but there seems to be less potential options in this space; a paradigm of majority-descent from Byzantine Jews- from both the Balkans and from Crimea, and maybe even Anatolia- seems pretty likely, although the question of West and East Knaan sharing any significant heritage (enough to form a "clade" in a phylogeny of Western Jews) is also entirely open. The question of descent from Khazarian Jews (who were probably not 90% Khazar genetically) and/or Mizrachi Jews remains similarly open.

Provence-Catalonia: Similar to Provence-Tsarfat, I imagine that Provençal Jewry of the 5th to 8th centuries seeded both Rhenish Jews and the Jews of Northern and especially Eastern Spain. In this sense, Rhenish Jews and Sephardim form some kind of clade (what I semi-confusingly call Northwestern Jewish) to the exclusion of Italian Jews, Bavarian-Austrian Jews, and Knaanim.

Andalusia: Also with rather early history of Jewish settlement and continuity into the Sephardi Golden Age, yet again so little is actually known. It would make sense if a community mainly seeded from North Africa existed here, yet the question of direct-from-Italy migration to here or NE Spain, let alone the question of Jewish continuity from the Roman Empire from within Iberia, remains, as always, open.

As we can see, so little is known, yet we can at least identity historical communities that are just distinct enough to discuss as units and as agents of migration and settlement of further, assured communities. We should not try to diminish the complexity of these migrations for the sake of a clean and simple model, and we should turn especially to the use of uniparentals to hint at proximate origins (and proportions of those origins!) for both Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

grumpydaddybear
11-05-2021, 06:05 PM
You're right that the historical migration and settlement of the communities that would become Ashkenaz and Sepharad is often over-simplified. I would say that's mostly because the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of these communities in and around the 10th century is effectively a Dark Age for Western Jews. It is a period we know so little about that scholars raised the narrative of replacement by Babylonian Jews to explain this apparent lack of continuity. However, now that we are confident of continuity between the two periods, we have to guess and extrapolate based on what little information we do have.

The second issue is that, despite what many might think, neither Ashkenazim nor Sephardim seem to be mostly descendant from any one early medieval community. Rather, we need to explore and embrace the multiplicity of our origins. Below I'll go into what myself and others have discussed as the likeliest routes, proportions, and origins of certain communities that seeded other, later, important ones.

Rhineland/Bney Hes: Most scholars agree that Rhenish Jewry of the 10th to 12th centuries derive mainly from Tsarfatim of North(eastern) France. However, with the Kalonymides, we can be pretty confident of a minor direct-from-Italy proportion in the mix as well. Tsarfatim, I think we can reasonably assume, are themselves mainly derived from early medieval Provençal Jewry, of whom a bit more than nothing is known.

Bavaria-Austria/Bney Khes: Relative to the Rhineland, much less is known about the proximate origins of the Jews of 10th to 12th century Bavaria and Austria, who we can be confident were at least of different stock than Rhenish Jews, based on Alexander Beider's onomastic work. The single likeliest source seems to be Northern Italian, the east of which (including towns such as Verona, Padua, and Trieste) was under the rule of the Duchy of Bavaria during the exact time Jews were first mentioned living in towns like Regensburg.

Bohemia/West Knaan: Even less is known about the origins of the so-called West Canaanites, the Old Czech-speaking Jews of Bohemia. They could have shared origins in Northern Italy with Bavaria-Austria, or could have derived from Jews of the Byzantine realm. Or, what I feel is most likely, a mix of both just as the Rhineland was a mix of Tsarfatim and direct-from-Italy Jews. The question of the inter-relatedness of the Bavarian-Austrian and Bohemian communities- beyond that they seemed to have at least culturally merged by the time Rhenish Jews started to migrate into towns like Regensburg and Prague- remains open.

East Knaan: Also little is known, but there seems to be less potential options in this space; a paradigm of majority-descent from Byzantine Jews- from both the Balkans and from Crimea, and maybe even Anatolia- seems pretty likely, although the question of West and East Knaan sharing any significant heritage (enough to form a "clade" in a phylogeny of Western Jews) is also entirely open. The question of descent from Khazarian Jews (who were probably not 90% Khazar genetically) and/or Mizrachi Jews remains similarly open.

Provence-Catalonia: Similar to Provence-Tsarfat, I imagine that Provençal Jewry of the 5th to 8th centuries seeded both Rhenish Jews and the Jews of Northern and especially Eastern Spain. In this sense, Rhenish Jews and Sephardim form some kind of clade (what I semi-confusingly call Northwestern Jewish) to the exclusion of Italian Jews, Bavarian-Austrian Jews, and Knaanim.

Andalusia: Also with rather early history of Jewish settlement and continuity into the Sephardi Golden Age, yet again so little is actually known. It would make sense if a community mainly seeded from North Africa existed here, yet the question of direct-from-Italy migration to here or NE Spain, let alone the question of Jewish continuity from the Roman Empire from within Iberia, remains, as always, open.

As we can see, so little is known, yet we can at least identity historical communities that are just distinct enough to discuss as units and as agents of migration and settlement of further, assured communities. We should not try to diminish the complexity of these migrations for the sake of a clean and simple model, and we should turn especially to the use of uniparentals to hint at proximate origins (and proportions of those origins!) for both Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

Great summary -- thank you.

Claudio
11-05-2021, 08:30 PM
You're right that the historical migration and settlement of the communities that would become Ashkenaz and Sepharad is often over-simplified. I would say that's mostly because the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the rise of these communities in and around the 10th century is effectively a Dark Age for Western Jews. It is a period we know so little about that scholars raised the narrative of replacement by Babylonian Jews to explain this apparent lack of continuity. However, now that we are confident of continuity between the two periods, we have to guess and extrapolate based on what little information we do have.

The second issue is that, despite what many might think, neither Ashkenazim nor Sephardim seem to be mostly descendant from any one early medieval community. Rather, we need to explore and embrace the multiplicity of our origins. Below I'll go into what myself and others have discussed as the likeliest routes, proportions, and origins of certain communities that seeded other, later, important ones.

Rhineland/Bney Hes: Most scholars agree that Rhenish Jewry of the 10th to 12th centuries derive mainly from Tsarfatim of North(eastern) France. However, with the Kalonymides, we can be pretty confident of a minor direct-from-Italy proportion in the mix as well. Tsarfatim, I think we can reasonably assume, are themselves mainly derived from early medieval Provençal Jewry, of whom a bit more than nothing is known.

Bavaria-Austria/Bney Khes: Relative to the Rhineland, much less is known about the proximate origins of the Jews of 10th to 12th century Bavaria and Austria, who we can be confident were at least of different stock than Rhenish Jews, based on Alexander Beider's onomastic work. The single likeliest source seems to be Northern Italian, the east of which (including towns such as Verona, Padua, and Trieste) was under the rule of the Duchy of Bavaria during the exact time Jews were first mentioned living in towns like Regensburg.

Bohemia/West Knaan: Even less is known about the origins of the so-called West Canaanites, the Old Czech-speaking Jews of Bohemia. They could have shared origins in Northern Italy with Bavaria-Austria, or could have derived from Jews of the Byzantine realm. Or, what I feel is most likely, a mix of both just as the Rhineland was a mix of Tsarfatim and direct-from-Italy Jews. The question of the inter-relatedness of the Bavarian-Austrian and Bohemian communities- beyond that they seemed to have at least culturally merged by the time Rhenish Jews started to migrate into towns like Regensburg and Prague- remains open.

East Knaan: Also little is known, but there seems to be less potential options in this space; a paradigm of majority-descent from Byzantine Jews- from both the Balkans and from Crimea, and maybe even Anatolia- seems pretty likely, although the question of West and East Knaan sharing any significant heritage (enough to form a "clade" in a phylogeny of Western Jews) is also entirely open. The question of descent from Khazarian Jews (who were probably not 90% Khazar genetically) and/or Mizrachi Jews remains similarly open.

Provence-Catalonia: Similar to Provence-Tsarfat, I imagine that Provençal Jewry of the 5th to 8th centuries seeded both Rhenish Jews and the Jews of Northern and especially Eastern Spain. In this sense, Rhenish Jews and Sephardim form some kind of clade (what I semi-confusingly call Northwestern Jewish) to the exclusion of Italian Jews, Bavarian-Austrian Jews, and Knaanim.

Andalusia: Also with rather early history of Jewish settlement and continuity into the Sephardi Golden Age, yet again so little is actually known. It would make sense if a community mainly seeded from North Africa existed here, yet the question of direct-from-Italy migration to here or NE Spain, let alone the question of Jewish continuity from the Roman Empire from within Iberia, remains, as always, open.

As we can see, so little is known, yet we can at least identity historical communities that are just distinct enough to discuss as units and as agents of migration and settlement of further, assured communities. We should not try to diminish the complexity of these migrations for the sake of a clean and simple model, and we should turn especially to the use of uniparentals to hint at proximate origins (and proportions of those origins!) for both Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

With regards to the Berber admixture component:
47339
47340
Also Roman North Africa Provence was known as the Bible Belt of early Christianity (ridiculous amount of Christian Bishops in Rome hailed from said Province) So Judaism preceding the area probably enabled this phenomenon.

Cascio
11-06-2021, 06:52 AM
It's not just about physical safety. If the Jews were involved in commerce or professional trades, the demand for their services would be much less as Rome / Western Empire de-urbanized.

Byzantine Italy was still relatively wealthy during the early middle ages and Rome, though reduced to a few tens of thousands of inhabitants (instead of over a million as in Imperial times), was still the biggest European city, though far behind Constantinople.

There is continuity of Jewish settlement in Rome since the 2nd century BCE.

Italy's cities contracted greatly but even in Lombard areas they survived better than elsewhere.