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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    I really don’t think Phoenicians had any lasting impression regarding Autosomal Admixture in Sicily and Calabria.
    If Sicilians and Calabrians do indeed have direct Levantine Admixture this is also due to Muslim era and Byzantine era (especially the Byzantine Era) it’s connection to Greek Orthodox Church recieving regular Admixture top up so to speak of Byzantine Greeks (Syrians,Anatolians,pre Turkic West Asians,Armenians etc..
    I’m pretty Sure both Mainland Central Italy and Sicily recieved migrant Admixture from these same listed areas but only during Magna Greacia and Roman period before fall of Rome and the subsequent Germanic invasions, where as Sicily and Calabria continued to receive this type of Admixture all through Byzantine period.
    So you think Levantine admixture in Sicily and Calabria is from Hellenized West Asian people in the Levant, Anatolia, and Armenia settling there. This may also be the case for the Aegean islands, then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    So you think Levantine admixture in Sicily and Calabria is from Hellenized West Asian people in the Levant, Anatolia, and Armenia settling there. This may also be the case for the Aegean islands, then.
    Yes I agree.
    But I also think it’s the case during the Magna Greacia and Roman period, people’s who are Greco West Asians/Levantines
    So some of them would of come directly from the Levant.
    Some from West Asia.
    Some just Greek Islanders carrying both Levantine and West Asian Admixture.
    I just think the fall of Western Roman Empire and Germanic invasions put a stop to this process in Central and to an extent Southern Italy.
    But the process carried on in Byzantine Sicily,Calabria. and later under kingdom of Sicily/Naples etc some of this near Eastern Admixture made its way back up through Southern Italy with migrations from deeper south so to Speak.
    Last edited by Claudio; 02-09-2019 at 09:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    And this would imply to me that the pre-Greek South Italians already plotted like Aegean people which is opposite of what Erikl86 is saying.

    If anything, I no longer think Greek input in southern Italy is needed at all to explain the similarities between southern Italians and Aegean islanders.

    I do think southern Italians have Greek ancestry YES obviously, and I don't want to be mistaken for saying otherwise, but I think that it will be increasingly difficult to separate Italic and Greek ancestry in southern Italy, while the Levantine will stand out.
    To some extent, it does indeed mean that pre-Greek South Italians already were in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum. As you said, Greek ancestry probably won't suffice to explain the similarity, and the odds are in favour of a widespread dissemination of similar populations around the Mediterranean prior to the establishment of Greek colonies. A multitude of ancient tribes and peoples, among them the Oenotrians, the Sicels, the Elymians, the Sicanii and countless others still (such as the people who spoke the elusive Pre-Samnite language) could potentially find themselves in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum.

    That being said, discarding Greek input in Southern Italy is an extreme position which, in my opinion, would not even begin to fit with the data anyway. I continue to think that South Italians starting from the south of the Matera and Potenza provinces owe the majority of their ancestry to the Greek settlers, Greek settlement most assuredly was the turning point in the Mezzogiorno's demographic history. Such a view finds itself in solid genetic, linguistic and historical footing with relatively few exceptions (such as Cosenza) which will be difficult to evaluate if the Oscan-speaking peoples truly were similar to the Greeks.

    I very much agree with your last sentence, the Levantine component should clearly stand out.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 02-09-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    So let me make sure I understand what you and others are saying here:

    1. Sicilians and Calabrians have genuine Levantine admixture from Phoenicians (with Calabria receiving theirs via Sicily) but other southern Italians plot where they do, as East Mediterranean, along with ancient Roman samples, primarily because of something Aegean, whereas the Levantine input in Sicily/Calabria is a secondary or tertiary element that reinforces their plotting position and/or brought them back "south" to counterbalance possible Northern influences.


    2. Levantine admixture in the Roman era was not yet stabilized across the population as it is now,


    4. Aegean influences (i.e. groups resembling modern Aegean islanders) formed the basis of the central and southern Italian population, and similarly to how Greeks from the mainland have Slavic influence, the gradient in central Italy to the south today as it deviates from Sicilians/Cretans/Aegean islanders is based on varying degrees of Germanic input, similar to how Greeks form a gradient based on their Slavic input.

    Is this generally what you're saying?
    Pretty much, yes, except for two things:

    3. Different groups can plot in similar positions but be made up of entirely different components, thus there are reasons people could plot near modern Sicilians but not have Levantine influence, while Sicilians have it and plot where they do because there must have been other elements counterbalancing the Levantine input and restoring them to their position today.
    The shared Levantine admixture between all East Mediterranean people assist and further increase their affinity towards each other. Let's say that without it, only roughly ~50% of their admixture would be similar, the rest different. Considering the different contemporary East Mediterranean populations have anything from 10-45% Levantine on top of their shared 50% Aegean-like substrate, increase and counter balance all sorts of Slavic, North West European or North African admixtures, which would make these populations cluster together, but perhaps less "tightly".

    Even those ancient Central Italian Sicilian-like samples had some Levantine admixture (albeit non-homogeneous), don't forget.

    And also, in no. 4:

    gradient in central Italy to the south today as it deviates from Sicilians/Cretans/Aegean islanders is based on varying degrees of Germanic input
    I disagree with this because we don't know yet if it's Germanic admixture that North-shifted Central Italian to where they are plotted today. It's tempting to believe so, but as I've explained in one of my previous posts, you then have to explain away how North Italians weren't affected as much by this Germanic geneflow, as it must have entered from the North, and yet there is relatively high degree of genetic continuity in North Italy from the BB N. Italy samples all the way to the Late Antiquity Collegno samples and now we also know Central Italian plotted similar to the way BB N. Italians plotted prior to the post-IA migrations into Italy.
    Last edited by Erikl86; 02-09-2019 at 09:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    To some extent, it does indeed mean that pre-Greek South Italians already were in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum. As you said, Greek ancestry probably won't suffice to explain the similarity, and the odds are in favour of a widespread dissemination of similar populations around the Mediterranean prior to the establishment of Greek colonies. A multitude of ancient tribes and peoples, among them the Oenotrians, the Sicels, the Elymians, the Sicanii and countless others still (such as the people who spoke the elusive Pre-Samnite language) could potentially find themselves in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum.

    That being said, discarding Greek input in Southern Italy is an extreme position which, in my opinion, would not even begin to fit with the data anyway. I continue to think that South Italians starting from the south of the Matera and Potenza provinces owe the majority of their ancestry to the Greek settlers, Greek settlement most assuredly was the turning point in the Mezzogiorno's demographic history. Such a view finds itself in solid genetic, linguistic and historical footing with relatively few exceptions (such as Cosenza) which will be difficult to evaluate if the Oscan-speaking peoples truly were similar to the Greeks.

    I very much agree with your last sentence, the Levantine component should clearly stand out.
    I kind of agree with your second and third paragraphs.

    However, I must have misunderstood your previous post, as I interpreted what you said about the Oscan speaking populations in South Italy being hard to separate from Hellenic populations to mean the following: if such high degree of Hellenic ancestry penetrated all the way to Central Italy to make Romans Aegean-like, surely it have worked its way in South Italy before that, making the Oscan speaking population there extremely Hellenic-like genetically speaking. However, in your comment here to Sikeliot you seem to believe that "To some extent, it does indeed mean that pre-Greek South Italians already were in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum.", which is the complete opposite of this.

    I actually believe that this recent find, that pre-IA migrations Central Italians were genetically homogeneous and were quite similar to North Italians BB and contemporary Sardinians, and quite different from Minoans and Mycenaeans, would pretty much diminish the possibility that South Italians would resemble East Mediterraneans as well, especially considering how ethnically close the Oscan speaking tribes and the Latins were.
    Last edited by Erikl86; 02-09-2019 at 09:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Some just Greek Islanders carrying both Levantine and West Asian Admixture.
    I think Aegean islands and South Italy acquired Levantine admixture at the same time, from a common outside source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    To some extent, it does indeed mean that pre-Greek South Italians already were in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum. As you said, Greek ancestry probably won't suffice to explain the similarity, and the odds are in favour of a widespread dissemination of similar populations around the Mediterranean prior to the establishment of Greek colonies. A multitude of ancient tribes and peoples, among them the Oenotrians, the Sicels, the Elymians, the Sicanii and countless others still (such as the people who spoke the elusive Pre-Samnite language) could potentially find themselves in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum.
    I agree with all of this. I think southern Italians are a mixture, primarily, of 3 groups -- Italic peoples who predated Greek settlers, Greek settlers themselves (who would absolutely NOT be similar to modern day, heavily Slavic mainland Greeks) and Levantines -- with the first two groups being genetically similar and the Levantines being distinct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    I agree with all of this. I think southern Italians are a mixture, primarily, of 3 groups -- Italic peoples who predated Greek settlers, Greek settlers themselves (who would absolutely NOT be similar to modern day, heavily Slavic mainland Greeks) and Levantines -- with the first two groups being genetically similar and the Levantines being distinct.
    I really fail to see how this latest finding only re-enforced your belief that pre-Greek settlement South Italians were genetically similar to those Greek settlers, when the new evidence presented points to the complete opposite, unless you consider Sardinian-like to be East Mediterranean-like
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    It is probably time to really start assessing whether the old theories regarding Near Eastern admixture in Italy are still realistic. If these preliminary results are to be believed, and I see no reason why they shouldn't, then the ideas of significant Byzantine era geneflow from Armenian sources and the like are nothing more than unsubstantiated speculation.

    It is much more likely that a lot of the the Aegean sub-structure/genetic profile of South Italy was in place from very early on, and as Erik said, related to the Greek colonisers of that area who brought with them Iran_N/CHG and were responsible for the shift in "Sardinian" to "Sicilian". The study specifically states that Levant-related admixture in particular is found at very high levels in certain migrant samples that arrived in the Iron Age, although not the general population throughout the Imperial Period until Late Antiquity. What do we see post Antiquity? We see that although all Romans are now clustering well into Tuscan territory, they all have and display relatively low yet homogeneous levels of Levant_N where as before it was sporadic. The outliers are gone and there is no longer a cline leading towards the Near East, likely because the population pockets of migrant origin (Phoenician heavy towns, soldiers, traders etc.) were completely absorbed alongside a more northern population and within a couple of generations were pretty much mixed out of existence in favour of a Southern European genetic profile.

    This makes it quite conceivable that most Italians except certain regions of Sicily have not absorbed a ton of direct ancestry from outside of the Italian Peninsula for a very long time. Most of it arrived in the Iron Age, and since then these relatively low but homogeneous levels have been maintained and mediated between ethnic Italians and not as a result of intrusive peoples contrary to what many like to believe. Add the existing Iran_N/CHG from before the Republic and it's pretty obvious we do not need 'Hellenized' people from Armenia and other far away lands to describe the clustering of Italians as well as their ancient profile. Even Sicilians probably derive the vast majority of their Near Eastern component from the Iron Age colonisation with some minor yet recent geneflow from North Africa.

    Here's a Southern Italian run using Iron Age Greek (Mycenaean), Latin (Beaker North Italy), Germanic invaders (Germany_Medieval), Iran_N (Ganj_Dareh_N), Iron Age Levant (Levant_BA_North), Arabian (Bedouin) and North African (Mozabite) to cover all bases.

    Code:
    [1] "distance%=1.7327"
    
             Italian_South
    
    Mycenaean,45
    Germany_Medieval,17.2
    Beaker_Italy_North,16.4
    Levant_BA_North,12.6
    Ganj_Dareh_N,5.6
    BedouinB,2.8
    Mozabite,0.4
    The main admixtures are Iran_N and Levant_BA_North. Iran_N was present from the Iron Age and continued to increase into the Republican and Imperial Periods across the entire Roman population; no need for this to be explained via recent intrusive people. Levant_BA_North representing Phoenician and/or general Levantine starting in the Iron Age and absorbed sometime just after Late Antiquity; no need for this to be explained via recent intrusive people. The only admixtures that are more recent and likely on the Byzantine timeline are Arab/North African and even then they're not significant at all.
    Last edited by LTG; 02-10-2019 at 02:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    I kind of agree with your second and third paragraphs.

    However, I must have misunderstood your previous post, as I interpreted what you said about the Oscan speaking populations in South Italy being hard to separate from Hellenic populations to mean the following: if such high degree of Hellenic ancestry penetrated all the way to Central Italy to make Romans Aegean-like, surely it have worked its way in South Italy before that, making the Oscan speaking population there extremely Hellenic-like genetically speaking. However, in your comment here to Sikeliot you seem to believe that "To some extent, it does indeed mean that pre-Greek South Italians already were in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum.", which is the complete opposite of this.

    I actually believe that this recent find, that pre-IA migrations Central Italians were genetically homogeneous and were quite similar to North Italians BB and contemporary Sardinians, and quite different from Minoans and Mycenaeans, would pretty much diminish the possibility that South Italians would resemble East Mediterraneans as well, especially considering how ethnically close the Oscan speaking tribes and the Latins were.
    I am indeed saying that the pre-Greek inhabitants of Southern Italy might already have fallen within the Eastern Mediterranean continuum. If this is true, then distinguishing Hellenic and Italic strands of ancestry will be an arduous task. The working assumption here is that the ~40% South Italian-like samples dated back to the pre-Imperial era are representative of the peninsula's ancient Oscan-speaking peoples. I have been hinting at that possibility for a few months now, and I am getting the distinct impression that there might be more truth to this educated guess than I had initially thought.

    To be clear, I continue to think that the earliest Italic speakers, that is to say the Proto-Italic speech community (which some Italian linguists persist in denying it ever existed) is bound to resemble the bulk of ~60% or so North Italian-like samples dated to the Iron Age and Republican period. If the Oscan-speaking peoples truly are similar to the Greeks without having any genuine Greek ancestry, then it only makes sense to assume that the Eastern Mediterranean profile was widespread long before the arrival of the Greeks and that the initial incursion of Italic languages was in many ways similar to the arrival of Indo-European speech in Bronze Age Greece.

    There lies the real puzzle, in my opinion. Even if I am wrong at some level, and the Eastern Mediterranean profile turns out to be entirely associated with the coming of the Greeks - which isn't entirely out of the question, after all scores of Roman authors endlessly railed against the increased Greek presence in the Latium and heaped scorn and criticism on what they perceived to be the wholesale Hellenisation and de-Latinisation of Rome at the expense of the Roman natives during the Imperial era, and at least some of the upcoming samples are definitely bound to be Greek - the possibility that the North Italian-like samples might be a better proxy for Roman ancestry is worthy of consideration and could have very important ramifications for the ethnogenesis of Western Jewry.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 02-10-2019 at 12:54 AM.
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