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Thread: Could Western Jews (Ash. and Seph.) descend from Aegeans and Levantine admixture?

  1. #10011
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkotl0327 View Post
    Aramean influence on I2201 might have caused this Phoenician haplogroup to end up in I2201. Any insight on I2201's mtDNA? I agree with what you are saying, distant common paternal ancestry between Israelites and Arameans/Phoenicians is possible but I2201 looks paternally Aramean. Maybe maternally Israelite? I'm bad at haplogroup research so I'll wait to hear what you and others have to say.
    It's all way too speculative to say more—and again, there is nothing in the genetics ruling out the possibility of Israelite identification. But if I had to guess on that evidence alone...

    Someone else could comment on likely Israelite mtDNA, but I think that topic's much less clear—even on just the phylogenetic level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartaisarlag View Post
    It's all way too speculative to say more—and again, there is nothing in the genetics ruling out the possibility of Israelite identification. But if I had to guess on that evidence alone...

    Someone else could comment on likely Israelite mtDNA, but I think that topic's much less clear—even on just the phylogenetic level.
    Study identifies it as X2 so I entered into James Lick which was confident for X2b, but that's it. I know X2b is common for Druze and Eupedia says it was associated with Neolithic Europe (Greece, Hungary, LBK). X2b is also found in NW Europe, Central Asia, Sardinia and NW-Africa/Spain. Obviously this doesn't provide any insight into Israelite vs Aramean and nobody is ruling anything out. In terms of Jews, X2b has been found in Moroccan (5.4%), Dutch, French, and Romanian Jews.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    And I'd just like to address the fact that we've reached 1,000 pages of (mostly) intellectual convo on genetics with almost no derailing into causing this thread to get closed (although it was a close call I think a few times haha). Quite astonishing - I don't know if that would have been possible in any other website but AG. Especially considering many of us here are Jews and East Mediterraneans (where two people = atleast 3 opinions).

    I remember starting this thread slightly over two years ago - and it had known it's share of ups and downs, but many of the first contributors are still around here and quite active.

    Mazal Tov to all of us, including the ones who joined in late and to the occasional visitors

    This thread is truly a treasure when it comes to Jewish and/or East Mediterranean genetics.
    I'd like to thank Erik for having created this thread. I don't think there is anyone who has been either an active or passive participant who hasn't learnt a considerable amount. On a personal note, it's also felt like home. I feel blessed to have grown up in Νorth London amongst the Jewish community, and to have had mostly Jewish friends until I got to Uni. My 'Greek phase' only really started when I met others at college from either Greece or Cyprus. Growing up in an Anglo-Saxon society, I was convinced that culturally Greeks and Jews shared so much. Now I understand that the bond extends partially to genetics too, though we obviously all have different genetic cocktails, with distinct ingredients and proportions. But Western Jews and Greeks (who both differ regionally too) seem to share certain core elements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewid View Post
    culturally Greeks and Jews shared so much. Now I understand that the bond extends partially to genetics too
    I would say the main difference are the levels of North African in Jews, inherited by Ancestral North Africans, into the Levant in the Holocene.

    Culturally, I am not so sure they are similar either. Greeks have an Indo-European culture, while Jews have a Semitic one. Throughout history, they have had different experiences as a people. For example, the Romans, despite conquering Greeks, raised their culture to unprecedented heights. While with the Jews, they banished them from Israel, and named the land after their mortal enemies. They vehemently despised the Semitic carthaginians, and considered them foreigners from Phoenicia, then facilitated a genocide against them. Because of this, Greek culture has been celebrated throughout history in Europe, by preceding super-powers, while Jews were shunned, and vilified.

    Ironically the Phoenician-elites that ruled over the North Africans in Carthage could infact trace their some of their ancient ancestry back to North Africa. Since 27% of Natufian DNA comes from Ancestral North Africans, but I don't think that would have mattered to Cato and the Romans. The point was to alienate them.

    Yes there was some admixture of South Eastern European, into the Levant, during the Iron age, and classical era. Plus there was the Philistines conquering the Western coast of the Levant; the Philistines, were indeed Greek-like, from Crete.

    The Ancient Greeks do have Iranian/Caucasian ancestry, as verified by Lazaridis et al 2017 . Moreover, there is also Anatolian_N ancestry that they both have. But these ancestries are shared with a lot of people in the whole of West Eurasia.

    This thread should better examine the nuances that make these people unique. You don't have to be genetically similar to get along.

    Just my honest impression of this thread.
    Last edited by Fuorilegge; 07-09-2020 at 01:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkotl0327 View Post
    I agree that the Benayau name alone isn't great evidence, but just to clarify, you believe that Stratum 6 (where I4517 was found) was Israelite? I only recently started reading about Megiddo's history but I was under the impression that stratum 6 would have been pre-Israelite. Assuming you are correct about at least the Israelite presence in stratum 6, I see why you come to the conclusion that I4517 is more likely Israelite than I2201. However, in ABM there are (probably) only two possibilities, Aramean and Israelite, whereas in Megiddo as you said there is a debate about whether there were Philistines. If I4517 was a Philistine (I don't think there was any evidence to the contrary), that could represent a significant deviation from Israelites genetically, and make I4517 a bad genetic proxy, on the other hand if I2201 is Aramean (if I'm not mistaken Arameans and Israelites are considered to have been very close genetically) it doesn't pose as big of a problem from a genetic standpoint.
    I do not think that Iron I Megiddo was an Israelite city, at least not in the political sense. It definitely had a sizeable Israelite population (possibly as much as 40% of the inhabitants), this is quite clear from the presence of the austere material culture at the site which is by and large identical to that of the IA I settlements in the highlands. Finkelstein's attribution of the city's destruction by fire to Sheshonq I's campaign circa ~925 BCE relies entirely on his Low Chronology, which is rejected by most archeologists and now rests firmly on the fringe, to quote another famous archeologist it creates a thousand problems to solve a single one:



    ^^This is, in my view, a lousy attempt at discarding most of the archeological evidence for a state-level society supporting the existence of 10th century Israelite and Judahite kingdoms (if not a united kingdom, for which there is growing support) by automatically lowering all the dates. With the recent excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a 10th century Judahite fortress, Finkelstein's claim that David could only have ruled over a small tribal chiefdom has aged badly, but this is another debate (Finkelstein is keenly aware of how weakened his position now is anyway). Regardless, using the normative (or "high") chronology, Megiddo VIA ended in an enormous conflagration some time around 1000 BCE, and not with Shoshenq I's campaign some ~75 years later.

    Regarding the purported Philistine presence at Megiddo, this is tied to the presence of Cypriot and Aegean pottery (in the form Bichrome & Monochrome Ware) at the site during the Iron I. The real question here is whether we ought to apply a strict 1:1 correlation between pottery and ethnicity, normally I would not bat an eye at the possibility however one must keep in mind that much of this could easily have been imported instead of being made locally. This obviously stands in contrast with the abysmally low frequency of decorated and imported pottery in IA I Israelite sites in the highlands, which is what motivates my reluctance at calling Megiddo during the Iron I an Israelite site. The austere (sometimes called "egalitarian", I take issue with this label, one of the few points of agreement between the "minimalists" and myself) material culture of the early Israelites, a culture which is largely a continuation of the LBA Canaanite culture (though with a clear emphasis on simplified forms and communal lifestyle) also happens to be present at Megiddo and this is a strong indication that a sizeable part of the city's population already was Israelite. Here is a map of the sites which have this IA I Israelite material assemblage (which seems geared towards a tribal lifestyle):

     


    As you can see, the Yizre'el valley is incomparably closer to those sites than Abel Beth Maacah ever was. Now as to whether or not I4517 (Megiddo_IA) was Philistine, even if we accept such a presence as genuine in Megiddo, the presence of the individual's paternal lineage in a sample dated 1971-1782 calBCE so roughly a thousand years earlier does a huge disfavour to such a theory, especially since this lineage is more likely to show up in the highlands or even in Egypt than in Philistia and the adjacent coastal plain. I think it goes without saying that we are dealing with an individual who was thoroughly local to the area, and whose ancestry was deeply-rooted (probably stretching back to the Early Bronze Age if not earlier during the Late Chalcolithic).

    If you're looking for sites with a mixed Israelite-Philistine population, Gezer, Lachish and probably even Tell Tzafit (from which we should be seeing ancient data in the near future) are incomparably better contenders, in fact it's even likely that the Judahite population of those "frontier" sites had some degree of Aegean ancestry because of this.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 07-09-2020 at 02:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post

    snip
    Aga

    Can you recommend some contra-Finkelstein archaeologists to read?

    Also, any books / papers on Hellenistic and Roman era Galilean Jews?

    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    I do not think that Iron I Megiddo was an Israelite city, at least not in the political sense. It definitely had a sizeable Israelite population (possibly as much as 40% of the inhabitants), this is quite clear from the presence of the austere material culture at the site which is by and large identical to that of the IA I settlements in the highlands. Finkelstein's attribution of the city's destruction by fire to Sheshonq I's campaign circa ~925 BCE relies entirely on his Low Chronology, which is rejected by most archeologists and now rests firmly on the fringe, to quote another famous archeologist it creates a thousand problems to solve a single one:



    ^^This is, in my view, a lousy attempt at discarding most of the archeological evidence for a state-level society supporting the existence of 10th century Israelite and Judahite kingdoms (if not a united kingdom, for which there is growing support) by automatically lowering all the dates. With the recent excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a 10th century Judahite fortress, Finkelstein's claim that David could only have ruled over a small tribal chiefdom has aged badly, but this is another debate (Finkelstein is keenly aware of how weakened his position now is anyway). Regardless, using the normative (or "high") chronology, Megiddo VIA ended in an enormous conflagration some time around 1000 BCE, and not with Shoshenq I's campaign some ~75 years later.

    Regarding the purported Philistine presence at Megiddo, this is tied to the presence of Cypriot and Aegean pottery (in the form Bichrome & Monochrome Ware) at the site during the Iron I. The real question here is whether we ought to apply a strict 1:1 correlation between pottery and ethnicity, normally I would not bat an eye at the possibility however one must keep in mind that much of this could easily have been imported instead of being made locally. This obviously stands in contrast with the abysmally low frequency of decorated and imported pottery in IA I Israelite sites in the highlands, which is what motivates my reluctance at calling Megiddo during the Iron I an Israelite site. The austere (sometimes called "egalitarian", I take issue with this label, one of the few points of agreement between the "minimalists" and myself) material culture of the early Israelites, a culture which is largely a continuation of the LBA Canaanite culture (though with a clear emphasis on simplified forms and communal lifestyle) also happens to be present at Megiddo and this is a strong indication that a sizeable part of the city's population already was Israelite. Here is a map of the sites which have this IA I Israelite material assemblage (which seems geared towards a tribal lifestyle):

     


    As you can see, the Yizre'el valley is incomparably closer to those sites than Abel Beth Maacah ever was. Now as to whether or not I4517 (Megiddo_IA) was Philistine, even if we accept such a presence as genuine in Megiddo, the presence of the individual's paternal lineage in a sample dated 1971-1782 calBCE so roughly a thousand years earlier does a huge disfavour to such a theory, especially since this lineage is more likely to show up in the highlands or even in Egypt than in Philistia and the adjacent coastal plain. I think it goes without saying that we are dealing with an individual who was thoroughly local to the area, and whose ancestry was deeply-rooted (probably stretching back to the Early Bronze Age if not earlier during the Late Chalcolithic).

    If you're looking for sites with a mixed Israelite-Philistine population, Gezer, Lachish and probably even Tell Tzafit (from which we should be seeing ancient data in the near future) are incomparably better contenders, in fact it's even likely that the Judahite population of those "frontier" sites had some degree of Aegean ancestry because of this.
    Thank you for this, very informative as always. I agree with you that Finkelstein's chronology for the most part does not hold water and you have convinced me that it is improbable that I4517 was Philistine. I'd even say you've convinced me that I4517 had a higher probability of being Israelite than I2201, though as you said, no more than 40% of stratum 6's population was Israelite, so nothing is definite. In fact, going by that population estimate, from a purely statistical standpoint there is still a higher probability that I4517 was Canaanite, but that probably doesn't matter that much from a genetic standpoint. Has anyone looked into further analysis on I4517 mtDNA, I think it was identified as K1a in the study, which piques my interest for obvious reasons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartaisarlag View Post
    Someone else could comment on likely Israelite mtDNA, but I think that topic's much less clear—even on just the phylogenetic level.
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    Hi everyone,

    I cannot see any posts between 15/6 and 7/7 (page 980)? Have they disappeared, do you guys see them?

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