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

  1. #4911
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Well, the jury is still out for whether or not Philistines were genetically Aegean, or perhaps mostly "Aegeanized" Canaanites which the few Philistines took leadership on when they landed in the Southern Levant.

    I'm still anxiously waiting for any news about the 150 Philistine graves found near Ashkelon few years ago.
    Initially, it's very clear the Philistines were newcomers. If we look at the Philistine settlements during the twelfth century for example, they brought with them a fully-developed urban culture associated with Cypriot, Mycenaean, and Aegean traits fully distinct from the previous Canaanite culture present on the coast. This included orthogonal urban planning, megara hearths in temples and palaces, large scale grain production and storage in Mycenaean-like pits, the use of the Cypro-Minoan script, imported Late Mycenaean IIIC pottery, Aegean style armour and weaponry and the consumption of pork. I have very little doubt that these Philistines will fall in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum, somewhere between the Mycenaeans and the Bronze Age Anatolians if I had to guess, but they could just as well have been identical to the Mycenaeans.

    In later stages of the Iron Age, a degenerate form of Late Mycenaean IIIC pottery emerges, combining the Cypriot style with local Canaanite elements, this is the famous Philistine Bichrome Ware (or PBW). It is during this period that we start to see an expansion inland into areas that are subsequently home to mixed populations, most of these sites border the region where the kingdom of Judah emerged, Beit Shemesh and Gezer are two such sites where a mixed population endured well into the 10th century BCE when the region was essentially a buffer zone between the Judaeans and the Philistines. The third and last stage sees the rapid adoption of Canaanite speech (probably a variant of the Old Byblian dialect of Phoenician judging from the Eqron inscription) and a form of syncretism between Philistine and Canaanite culture and religion, nevertheless several personal names we know of still have non-Semitic (and very likely Indo-European) etymologies. Here's a map of early Israelite and Philistine sites during the Iron Age I:



    As you can see the northernmost extent of Philistine settlement was in the Sharon plain and the Yarkon basin, so it's unlikely they encroached on the highlands of Samaria. IMO a fair case could be made in favour of a significant influx of Aegean ancestry in Judea via the Philistines, but by the time that happened it's doubtful the original Aegean population was a majority even in its original settlements on the coast.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 02-27-2019 at 08:22 PM.
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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  3. #4912
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Initially, it's very clear the Philistines were newcomers. If we look at the Philistine settlements during the twelfth century for example, they brought with them a fully-developed urban culture associated with Cypriot, Mycenaean, and Aegean traits fully distinct from the previous Canaanite culture present on the coast. This included orthogonal urban planning, megara hearths in temples and palaces, large scale grain production and storage in Mycenaean-like pits, the use of the Cypro-Minoan script, imported Late Mycenaean IIIC pottery, Aegean style armour and weaponry and the consumption of pork. I have very little doubt that these Philistines will fall in the Eastern Mediterranean continuum, somewhere between the Mycenaeans and the Bronze Age Anatolians if I had to guess, but they could just as well have been identical to the Mycenaeans.

    In later stages of the Iron Age, a degenerate form of Late Mycenaean IIIC pottery emerges, combining the Cypriot style with local Canaanite elements, this is the famous Philistine Bichrome Ware (or PBW). It is during this period that we start to see an expansion inland into areas that are subsequently home to mixed populations, most of these sites border the region where the kingdom of Judah emerged, Beit Shemesh and Gezer are two such sites where a mixed population endured well into the 10th century BCE when the region was essentially a buffer zone between the Judaeans and the Philistines. The third and last stage sees the rapid adoption of Canaanite speech (probably a variant of the Old Byblian dialect of Phoenician judging from the Eqron inscription) and a form of syncretism between Philistine and Canaanite culture and religion, nevertheless several personal names we know of still have non-Semitic (and very likely Indo-European) etymologies. Here's a map of early Israelite and Philistine sites during the Iron Age I:



    As you can see the northernmost extent of Philistine settlement was in the Sharon plain and the Yarkon basin, so it's unlikely they encroached on the highlands of Samaria. IMO a fair case could be made in favour of a significant influx of Aegean ancestry in Judea via the Philistines, but by the time that happened it's doubtful the original Aegean population was a majority even in its original settlements on the coast.
    I completely agree, which is why I believe if any Aegean-like ancestry entered via Philistines, it would be minimal at best. There's also another possibility of when Philistine ancestry could have penetrated the Jewish gene pool even more extensively than via that buffer zone. After their lost of independence by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC, and their final assimilation with the surrounding Canaanite population by the time the Jewish leadership from Babylon returned back to Judea and rebuilt the temple (as entailed in the famous Cyrus Cylinder from 538 BC), it is known that the local non-exiled Jewish population have intermarried extensively with the local non-Jewish women. It is well possible that substantial numbers of Southern non-Jewish Levantines in the vicinity of Judea had Philistine ancestry.

    However, the chances that any significant Aegean-like ancestry remained in 6th century BC Philistines is almost zero, at least IMO. Which is why even with this scenario, I still believe if and any Hellenic/Aegean-like ancestry exist, it must have been mostly introduced later - during Hellenistic period, and not mainly from Philistines.

    And interesting fact, btw, is that the word "Captain" in Hebrew (as in - the rank in the Israeli Defense Forces, not a captain of a ship or something of that sort) is "Seren" סרן, which derive directly from the Philistine word for their city states governors (סרני or סרנים).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Well, the jury is still out for whether or not Philistines were genetically Aegean, or perhaps mostly "Aegeanized" Canaanites which the few Philistines took leadership on when they landed in the Southern Levant.

    I'm still anxiously waiting for any news about the 150 Philistine graves found near Ashkelon few years ago.

    As for the Samaritans not having any substantial Hellenic-like (or East Mediterranean-like) admixture in them - the chromosomal analysis I've published above actually shows something different. It first of all shows substantial Mesopotamian drift among large portion of the Samaritan chromosomes, which isn't evident from the regular admixture calculations we usually do. It also show very few - 1-2 - chromosomes which seem to drift towards the "southern" members of the East Mediterranean Continuum.

    Jonahst once suggested that perhaps there was a bounce - that it's extremely unlikely Samaritans remained N. Levant BA-like all these years, and that perhaps they used to plot differently, but something drawn back to plot like N. Levant BA. We couldn't see it in the ADMIX calculations we did so far, but several uniparental studies on Samaritans have shown evidence that maternally they share subclades with Iraqi Jews (which share maternal subclades with Mesopotamians).

    So it just might be that jonahst's assumption is correct. There's also another possibility, that Samaritans indeed mostly descend from "Northern" Israelites (as the bible claims) which had very little mixing with Philistines, while Jews descend mainly from the tribes of Judah and Shimon, which were bordering the Philistines and indeed did mix with them. However, IMO, this is a less likely scenario.

    In any case, my belief is that the vast majority of any Hellenic-like ancestry in Jews entered during Hellenistic times and Greco-Roman times. This is where we actually see cultural and religious as well as historical documentation of such mixing and the rise of Hellenistic Judaism.

    It's plausible that late Second Temple (aka 1st-2nd centuries BC to 1st-2nd centuries AD) Jews were actually a non-homogeneous people genetically speaking. Hellenistic Jews tended to mix and intermarry with Greco-Romans, while other denominations didn't. And while Christianity became popular among Hellenistic Jews, it initially rose among Pharisee Jews - which tended to frown on Hellenism.
    Doesn't the "Mesopotamian Shift" give at least anecdotal support for the traditional Torah view of Samaritan ethnogenesis; as a hybrid of Israelite (proto-Jews) and "Kuthi" (captive Mesopotamian people resettled by Assyria in Israel) admixture? This question of course presumes that Torah while not science nor history in the modern sense, nevertheless records trends and general accurate historical origins,

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    I wonder, is there any way to do a similar mapping for BA Levant North? It would be interesting to compare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonahst View Post
    I wonder, is there any way to do a similar mapping for BA Levant North? It would be interesting to compare.
    If anyone is interested in running them (as I'm off to bed as it's past midnight here and I'm after 13 hours work day and also working tomorrow), I've uploaded the Sidon samples few months ago. These are their kits:

    Z005595 Sidon_ERS1790729

    Z227846 Sidon_ERS1790733

    Z647344 Sidon_ERS1790732

    Z967414 Sidon_ERS1790730
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    My mtDNA: K1a1b1a;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    If anyone is interested in running them (as I'm off to bed as it's past midnight here and I'm after 13 hours work day and also working tomorrow), I've uploaded the Sidon samples few months ago. These are their kits:

    Z005595 Sidon_ERS1790729

    Z227846 Sidon_ERS1790733

    Z647344 Sidon_ERS1790732

    Z967414 Sidon_ERS1790730
    Do you need the raw data to do the chromosomal breakdown?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonahst View Post
    Do you need the raw data to do the chromosomal breakdown?
    You just need the kits. Go to Admixture (heritage), then select "Admixture Proportions by Chromosome" and run it as you would any other kit.
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    Honestly, I don't think we're going to see anything specifically Mesopotamian in the Samaritans, at least not something that could not have arrived during the Chalcolithic-EBA with Iran_ChL-type ancestry. They're pretty similar to the Bronze Age Sidonians as far as I can tell, and it's likely they'll be equally similar to the Early Israelites.
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Honestly, I don't think we're going to see anything specifically Mesopotamian in the Samaritans, at least not something that could not have arrived during the Chalcolithic-EBA with Iran_ChL-type ancestry. They're pretty similar to the Bronze Age Sidonians as far as I can tell, and it's likely they'll be equally similar to the Early Israelites.
    That's another possibility - that the Mesopotamian drift we've seen is actually Iranian-like drift - on the K15 PCA it's on the same axis, just "after" the N. Mesopotamian / Mizrahi Jews.

    The chromosomal plotting of those BA Sidon kits should verify or refute this.
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    My mtDNA: K1a1b1a;

    My dad's mtDNA: K2a2a;

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    Here's Z005595. Pretty crazy results, much more spread out than I would expect. I don't know if the other ancient samples will be similar or if the quality impacted the results, but I'll let you guys make those judgment calls. Either way, Samaritans definitely don't look any more admixed than this guy.

    KgB96ed.jpg
    Last edited by jonahst; 02-28-2019 at 02:18 AM.

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