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

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    This is the crux, as @jonahst has succinctly stated
    "a skewed history that almost always has an explicit or implied political motive."
    The motive is usually anti-Israel, to minimize the Jewish claim to it's homeland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Targum View Post
    This is the crux, as @jonahst has succinctly stated
    "a skewed history that almost always has an explicit or implied political motive."
    The motive is usually anti-Israel, to minimize the Jewish claim to it's homeland.
    I don't know, Reb Yid - how can one argue with this?



    Best genetics/haplo talk^
    Last edited by StillWater; 08-09-2019 at 08:46 PM.
    הִנְנִי֩ מֵבִ֨יא אוֹתָ֜ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ צָפ֗וֹן

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
    Thanks for your opinions on this. The paper in question does offer some sources to the contrary about early proselytism, and also about the nature of descent (switching from paternal to maternal). I'll wait and maybe someone else who has read the paper and can discuss it with me will chime in. Thanks again.
    As I understand it, one of the main issues is a miscommunication over the meaning of the term "proselytism". Judaism was almost never a proselytizing religion in the sense that Christianity or Islam are (certainly not in the last 2 millennia), i.e. actively seeking to convert large groups of people and incorporating them into the faith community using adherence to dogma as the sole criterion. Jewish "proselytizing", when it existed, meant periods of greater openness to incorporation of new members through marriage (men or women depending on the period and place in question) and perhaps more open public displays of confidence in faith during periods of exceptionally good interfaith relations (which were rare), i.e. preaching in public, not to promote mass conversion, but to reinforce communal self-confidence. While there have been periods into which more non-Jewish converts have been brought into Jewish communities, and even cases of individual Jews reaching out to non-Jews to teach them about the religion, this has not changed the fact that most cases of conversion to Judaism occurred through marriage into pre-existing communities, thus ensuring a degree of genetic continuity from one period to the next. If this were not the case, then it would be very hard to explain the genetic overlap between all major present-day Jewish groups, and between these and both modern and ancient populations in the Levant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonahst View Post
    Because historically, religiously, and culturally this makes no sense. Judaism is and has always been a religion of descent, not conversion. Conversion is the exception, not the rule. There are reasons why the science to these theories is shoddy, but I'll let someone more competent in that explain, but these narratives generally neglect the historical evidence in favor a skewed history that almost always has an explicit or implied political motive.
    Yeah but even if today’s Western Jews are Genuinely Paternally descended from Ancient Levantine Jews this does not necessarily mean today’s modern Western Jews are considerably ancient Levantine in there Autosomal DNA Admixture makeup.

    For me it all depends on what narrative of ethnogenesis we are going with.
    For instance there is an old narrative for Ashkenazim that sometime after the Heraclius revolt of 7th Century that Levantine Jews moved directly to North Italy,married local North Italian Women,settled for a couple centuries then moved into Germany when North Italy became part of Charlemagne’s Empire,then with establishment of Ashkenazi rite,took on more north Euro French/Germanic Admixture though local wife, then later similar process in Eastern Europe with Slavic women.
    Now if this ethnogenesis is true, Because this narrative surrounds a direct Levantine population entering Europe fairly late,mixing with North Italian then French & German Then Eastern Europeans mostly maternally taking on Admixture I could understand how the resulting modern descendant population today would still have a core of 40% Ancient Levantine ancestry.

    But then there is a second narrative which paints a picture of non Levantine Jews (southern European Jews) moving from mostly Italy and Greece via North Italy. The Big question being what was the Autosomal makeup and origin of these Southern European Jews? Because unlike the Jews of the first narrative mentioned previously these Jews did not come directly from Levantine territory but had arguably spent the last 800 years in territory outside the Levant in surrounding East med and North Africa with a more recent 500 years in Southern Europe.
    Here’s a map of diaspora 1st Century AD:
    DC60BC2C-33F1-415E-AFC3-4E828BFF7BF0.jpeg
    The problems i see are so:
    These Hellenistic Jewish populations are already mixed with North African,Greek,and Non Levantine Anatolian & Syrian Admixture when these Greek Speaking Jewish populations started moving into Roman southern & Central italy they were already admixed to a degree (what degree who knows) but probably mostly from taking non Levantine wife’s in East med but there were cases of male conversion. Then there is arguably a time of conversion to Judaism by Roman Southern Europeans,again mostly women. But then there is also another factor regarding this Scenario which is the question of all through the time of Jews living outside of Levant in east Mediterranean territory all the way through Period spent in Roman Southern Europe is that all through this period of maybe 500 years or more Jews owned Slaves like everybody else,but also converted there local slaves to Judaism,and also being a mostly male oriented movement married local Slaves.
    Now looking at this second narrative if is true then considering the huge timescale this ethnogenesis takes place in comparison to the first narrative and the fact it arguably starts with a mixed Levantine population it beggars the question of how much ancient Levantine Admixture Western Jews like modern Ashkenazim of today have with regards to ancient Israel.
    On this thread we have more or less shown that Ashkenazim minus there north & East Euro Admixture would plot like other Western Jews which is not Levantine so to say but more like a North African shifted Cypriot like population.
    Secondly all the places outside of Ancient Israel from east med to Italy where Western Jews have taken on Admixture have there own percentages of non Jewish Levantine Admixture even Italians of imperial times according to recent findings.
    So it makes measuring any level of true ancient Jewish Levantine Admixture in Western Jews both pedantic and redundantly impossible to measure following this second narrative.
    The only thing I will add concerning this narrative idea is something I mentioned in recent previous post but got no feedback!
    if the narrative is a narrative of Israeli Y-DNA carrying males marrying generation after generation of Non Levantine Middle Eastern & North African women then southern European women then European Women then the overall Autosomal DNA of modern Western Jews will have been predominantly inherited through maternal inherited admixture, which would have it’s own ramifications.

    Anyway maybe the truth of the matter is somewhere between both these narratives.
    I’m still on the fence.

    Thoughts anyone??
    Last edited by Claudio; 08-10-2019 at 11:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
    Hi, new to the forum and not nearly as informed as most of the posters, so maybe you'll give me some slack. But I was reading through Erikl86's criticisms of a recent review paper on Jewish ethnogenesis. It took me a while to find the paper but I read it. I can't comment on the authors' agendas or even on the papers they seemingly misrepresent, but it seems to me their point is pretty simple: today's Jews descend from a group of pan-Mediterranean converts to Judaism. It seems like in other threads all over this forum people (Bleach for example) are saying the same thing. So what's the big deal? Why is everyone so sure the genetic core is in Israel?
    Hi Woodlands and welcome to the thread (and to the forum) .

    If you refer to Yardumian & Schurr et al., which I'm guessing you do judging by the conclusion the said paper as you presented it, then there are several problems with it.

    I've read it. All of it. And I'm sorry, but before I can even tackle the problem with the premise (which isn't going to be long, because it's quite easily refutable, as both myself and another member, Agamemnon, which hasn't read the paper but read the abstract presented here, did few pages ago), I must be brutal about it, because such a paper deserves such a treatment - not because of it's presumed agenda that it tries to propagate, which I find offensive, but because of the way they chose to present their academic sources when they make their case for their premise - which is completely and utterly dishonest. As a matter of fact, this paper is a piece of garbage. It completely disrespects and down right offensive to the readers, because it's entire case is based on the notion that the readers are idiots and cannot google the openly available Atzmon et al. (2010), Costa et al. (2013), Xue et al. (2017) etc., because if a reader with half a brain and half an interest in population genetics would do that, they'd quickly be able simply by reading any of the papers they quote and "analyze", to conclude that all of their sources were taken selectively out of context, at times cherry picking specific lines and presenting them in the exact opposite manner in which they are presented and meant in the original quoted study.

    This is down right disgraceful. As to their agenda, other than the fact that when it suites them, such as in the case of Costa et al., they know how to not cherry pick because there's an entire paragraph with data in that study that supports their premise, the fact that they cite someone like Shlomo Sand, an extremely controversial and fringe historian which his theories on the enthogenesis of Jews have been completely rejected by most self-respecting population genetics experts such as Behar, Atzmon, Xue, Ostrer. etc. and is basically only supported by Dr. Eran Elhaik and linguist Paul Wexler, as a legitimate source, and use his absurd theory as sound historical theory, kind of shows exactly what is their political agenda.

    As for the premise itself, and why it doesn't hold water.

    Let's assume for a second that indeed the ancestors of contemporary Jews were practicing proselytization heavily and that indeed we all descend from these converts from all over the Mediterranean world, both paternally and maternally.
    We are then faced with a very big problem here, that of course isn't addressed by Yardumian & Schurr et al. (because they have no wish to address this, it goes against their agenda) and is the gender disparity: for some reason, all the male lineages are Middle Eastern/West Asian, or according to them despite the fact that the lineages can be of Levant origin, they can also be of other Middle Eastern/West Asian origin, but the maternal lineages are from completely different geographic locations. If indeed Judaism was proselyting both men and women, one would see similar diversity in male lineages that we see in female lineages - and we don't.
    Another problem, is that this study does not go deep enough in uniparental resolution (IMO, intentionally) - for example, lets discuss my own paternal lineage which is also mentioned in that study. Sure, paternal Q1b-M378, isn't native to the Levant, and is shared with other West Asian populations, especially Iranians.
    However, ALL Jews that belong to Q1b-M378 also belong to a subclade further down that uniparental lineage, and that's Q-L245, and that lineage does exist native in the Levant. In fact, even deeper branches, which Ashkenazi Jews belong to, such as Q-Y2209, also exist among Levantine populations, such as Shia Lebanese and Jordanians.
    This is a running theme with the rest of subclades they've mentioned in that study:

    E1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1c-M123, E3b, G2b-M377, J-P58, J1-M267, J2a-M410, J2a1b-M67, R1a1a-M17, R1b1b2-M269, R1b1-P25.
    While true, if I am to look at this level of subclade resolution, I can claim these paternal lineages do indeed exist all over the Mediterranean. However, if I actually examine to which downstreaming subclades Jews belong to, I see it's almost always the one which exist among Levantines, or has a TMRCA of 1500-2500 YBP from the Levantine subclade, ie roughly the time Jews left the Levant.

    So you see why this theory doesn't hold much water. In any case, such dishonesty when trying to disprove Levantine ancestry in Jews by not diving in to the deeper downstreaming subclades of uniparentals, seem to be the "new thing" among such agenda-driven "scholars".

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
    Thanks, jonahst, for that reply. I get what you're saying, but two things that struck me in the review article were: 1) that Judaism was a proselytizing religion until the early Middle Ages in Europe; and 2) that we never think of Christians or Christianity as having common ancestry, so why think of Jews this way? It was the first time that occurred to me. So I understand there may be historical evidence to the contrary, but it seems like there was a lot of conversion going on in the Roman Empire and maybe elsewhere. Babylon? That's why I am very interested in learning what the genetics really say, but there seem to be so many differing perspectives that it's difficult.
    Judaism was actually not that proselytizing of a religion - it was only in few rare occasions:
    1. During a short period in the Hasmonean dynasty - in the Levant, proselyting few Levantine ethnic groups as a whole (Idumeans and Itureans, for instance).
    2. During the Hellenistic and early Roman period, but it wasn't a policy, and wasn't an organized effort - people joined as individuals.

    Certainly, Judaism stopped accepting proselytes in any meaningful way probably during the 2nd century CE in the Roman Empire, following the harsh oppression of Judaism and Jews by the Romans as a result of almost 150 years of escalating clashes between Jews and the Romans, culminating in the destruction of the Jewish Temple, mass expulsion of Jews from Judea, and renaming it Palestine to erase any nationalistic attitude Jews might have to their ancestral homeland.

    It most certainly wouldn't be able to accept new converts among Romans after the Empire converted to Christianity, which was way before the Middle Ages.

    And, as jonahst correctly pointed out, Christianity sought new converts from day one, and was never about any ethnic identity, but instead offered a universal truth and so was proselytizing from its very core. Judaism was not.

    There are indeed many theories as to what is the true genetic history of Jews, but if there's one thing which is pretty much thoroughly based, and is going to be quite hard to disprove, is the substantial paternal Levantine ancestry of both Western and Mizrahi Jews.
    Last edited by Erikl86; 08-09-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by passenger View Post
    As I understand it, one of the main issues is a miscommunication over the meaning of the term "proselytism". Judaism was almost never a proselytizing religion in the sense that Christianity or Islam are (certainly not in the last 2 millennia), i.e. actively seeking to convert large groups of people and incorporating them into the faith community using adherence to dogma as the sole criterion. Jewish "proselytizing", when it existed, meant periods of greater openness to incorporation of new members through marriage (men or women depending on the period and place in question) and perhaps more open public displays of confidence in faith during periods of exceptionally good interfaith relations (which were rare), i.e. preaching in public, not to promote mass conversion, but to reinforce communal self-confidence. While there have been periods into which more non-Jewish converts have been brought into Jewish communities, and even cases of individual Jews reaching out to non-Jews to teach them about the religion, this has not changed the fact that most cases of conversion to Judaism occurred through marriage into pre-existing communities, thus ensuring a degree of genetic continuity from one period to the next. If this were not the case, then it would be very hard to explain the genetic overlap between all major present-day Jewish groups, and between these and both modern and ancient populations in the Levant.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. There's a very significant difference between accepting converts and seeking out converts.

    This distinction is one reason, among others, that Christianity and Islam have billions of adherents, while Judaism as a religion has perhaps 10-15 million religiously active followers (the vast majority of whom are of ethnic Jewish ancestry).

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    Quote Originally Posted by StillWater View Post
    I don't know, Reb Yid - how can one argue with this?



    Best genetics/haplo talk^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Hi Woodlands and welcome to the thread (and to the forum) .

    If you refer to Yardumian & Schurr et al., which I'm guessing you do judging by the conclusion the said paper as you presented it, then there are several problems with it.

    I've read it. All of it. And I'm sorry, but before I can even tackle the problem with the premise (which isn't going to be long, because it's quite easily refutable, as both myself and another member, Agamemnon, which hasn't read the paper but read the abstract presented here, did few pages ago), I must be brutal about it, because such a paper deserves such a treatment - not because of it's presumed agenda that it tries to propagate, which I find offensive, but because of the way they chose to present their academic sources when they make their case for their premise - which is completely and utterly dishonest. As a matter of fact, this paper is a piece of garbage. It completely disrespects and down right offensive to the readers, because it's entire case is based on the notion that the readers are idiots and cannot google the openly available Atzmon et al. (2010), Costa et al. (2013), Xue et al. (2017) etc., because if a reader with half a brain and half an interest in population genetics would do that, they'd quickly be able simply by reading any of the papers they quote and "analyze", to conclude that all of their sources were taken selectively out of context, at times cherry picking specific lines and presenting them in the exact opposite manner in which they are presented and meant in the original quoted study.

    This is down right disgraceful. As to their agenda, other than the fact that when it suites them, such as in the case of Costa et al., they know how to not cherry pick because there's an entire paragraph with data in that study that supports their premise, the fact that they cite someone like Shlomo Sand, an extremely controversial and fringe historian which his theories on the enthogenesis of Jews have been completely rejected by most self-respecting population genetics experts such as Behar, Atzmon, Xue, Ostrer. etc. and is basically only supported by Dr. Eran Elhaik and linguist Paul Wexler, as a legitimate source, and use his absurd theory as sound historical theory, kind of shows exactly what is their political agenda.

    As for the premise itself, and why it doesn't hold water.

    Let's assume for a second that indeed the ancestors of contemporary Jews were practicing proselytization heavily and that indeed we all descend from these converts from all over the Mediterranean world, both paternally and maternally.
    We are then faced with a very big problem here, that of course isn't addressed by Yardumian & Schurr et al. (because they have no wish to address this, it goes against their agenda) and is the gender disparity: for some reason, all the male lineages are Middle Eastern/West Asian, or according to them despite the fact that the lineages can be of Levant origin, they can also be of other Middle Eastern/West Asian origin, but the maternal lineages are from completely different geographic locations. If indeed Judaism was proselyting both men and women, one would see similar diversity in male lineages that we see in female lineages - and we don't.
    Another problem, is that this study does not go deep enough in uniparental resolution (IMO, intentionally) - for example, lets discuss my own paternal lineage which is also mentioned in that study. Sure, paternal Q1b-M378, isn't native to the Levant, and is shared with other West Asian populations, especially Iranians.
    However, ALL Jews that belong to Q1b-M378 also belong to a subclade further down that uniparental lineage, and that's Q-L245, and that lineage does exist native in the Levant. In fact, even deeper branches, which Ashkenazi Jews belong to, such as Q-Y2209, also exist among Levantine populations, such as Shia Lebanese and Jordanians.
    This is a running theme with the rest of subclades they've mentioned in that study:

    E1b1b1a-M78, E1b1b1c-M123, E3b, G2b-M377, J-P58, J1-M267, J2a-M410, J2a1b-M67, R1a1a-M17, R1b1b2-M269, R1b1-P25.
    While true, if I am to look at this level of subclade resolution, I can claim these paternal lineages do indeed exist all over the Mediterranean. However, if I actually examine to which downstreaming subclades Jews belong to, I see it's almost always the one which exist among Levantines, or has a TMRCA of 1500-2500 YBP from the Levantine subclade, ie roughly the time Jews left the Levant.

    So you see why this theory doesn't hold much water. In any case, such dishonesty when trying to disprove Levantine ancestry in Jews by not diving in to the deeper downstreaming subclades of uniparentals, seem to be the "new thing" among such agenda-driven "scholars".



    Judaism was actually not that proselytizing of a religion - it was only in few rare occasions:
    1. During a short period in the Hasmonean dynasty - in the Levant, proselyting few Levantine ethnic groups as a whole (Idumeans and Itureans, for instance).
    2. During the Hellenistic and early Roman period, but it wasn't a policy, and wasn't an organized effort - people joined as individuals.

    Certainly, Judaism stopped accepting proselytes in any meaningful way probably during the 2nd century CE in the Roman Empire, following the harsh oppression of Judaism and Jews by the Romans as a result of almost 150 years of escalating clashes between Jews and the Romans, culminating in the destruction of the Jewish Temple, mass expulsion of Jews from Judea, and renaming it Palestine to erase any nationalistic attitude Jews might have to their ancestral homeland.

    It most certainly wouldn't be able to accept new converts among Romans after the Empire converted to Christianity, which was way before the Middle Ages.

    And, as jonahst correctly pointed out, Christianity sought new converts from day one, and was never about any ethnic identity, but instead offered a universal truth and so was proselytizing from its very core. Judaism was not.

    There are indeed many theories as to what is the true genetic history of Jews, but if there's one thing which is pretty much thoroughly based, and is going to be quite hard to disprove, is the substantial paternal Levantine ancestry of both Western and Mizrahi Jews.
    To add, I am in a Iranian-Levantine subclade J2a1b Z5048 mainly Jewish subclade. There are no upstream Med lines. Nearest branches are Lebanese-Syrian, Jordanian and Punjabi. with Caucasians more distant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Yeah but even if today’s Western Jews are Genuinely Paternally descended from Ancient Levantine Jews this does not necessarily mean today’s modern Western Jews are considerably ancient Levantine in there Autosomal DNA Admixture makeup.

    For me it all depends on what narrative of ethnogenesis we are going with.
    For instance there is an old narrative for Ashkenazim that sometime after the Heraclius revolt of 7th Century that Levantine Jews moved directly to North Italy,married local North Italian Women,settled for a couple centuries then moved into Germany when North Italy became part of Charlemagne’s Empire,then with establishment of Ashkenazi rite,took on more north Euro French/Germanic Admixture though local wife, then later similar process in Eastern Europe with Slavic women.
    Now if this ethnogenesis is true, Because this narrative surrounds a direct Levantine population entering Europe fairly late,mixing with North Italian then French & German Then Eastern Europeans mostly maternally taking on Admixture I could understand how the resulting modern descendant population today would still have a core of 40% Ancient Levantine ancestry.

    But then there is a second narrative which paints a picture of non Levantine Jews (southern European Jews) moving from mostly Italy and Greece via North Italy. The Big question being what was the Autosomal makeup and origin of these Southern European Jews? Because unlike the Jews of the first narrative mentioned previously these Jews did not come directly from Levantine territory but had arguably spent the last 800 years in territory outside the Levant in surrounding East med and North Africa with a more recent 500 years in Southern Europe.
    Here’s a map of diaspora 1st Century AD:
    DC60BC2C-33F1-415E-AFC3-4E828BFF7BF0.jpeg
    The problems i see are so:
    These Hellenistic Jewish populations are already mixed with North African,Greek,and Non Levantine Anatolian & Syrian Admixture when these Greek Speaking Jewish populations started moving into Roman southern & Central italy they were already admixed to a degree (what degree who knows) but probably mostly from taking non Levantine wife’s in East med but there were cases of male conversion. Then there is arguably a time of conversion to Judaism by Roman Southern Europeans,again mostly women. But then there is also another factor regarding this Scenario which is the question of all through the time of Jews living outside of Levant in east Mediterranean territory all the way through Period spent in Roman Southern Europe is that all through this period of maybe 500 years or more Jews owned Slaves like everybody else,but also converted there local slaves to Judaism,and also being a mostly male oriented movement married local Slaves.
    Now looking at this second narrative if is true then considering the huge timescale this ethnogenesis takes place in comparison to the first narrative and the fact it arguably starts with a mixed Levantine population it beggars the question of how much ancient Levantine Admixture Western Jews like modern Ashkenazim of today have with regards to ancient Israel.
    On this thread we have more or less shown that Ashkenazim minus there north & East Euro Admixture would plot like other Western Jews which is not Levantine so to say but more like a North African shifted Cypriot like population.
    Secondly all the places outside of Ancient Israel from east med to Italy where Western Jews have taken on Admixture have there own percentages of non Jewish Levantine Admixture even Italians of imperial times according to recent findings.
    So it makes measuring any level of true ancient Jewish Levantine Admixture in Western Jews both pedantic and redundantly impossible to measure following this second narrative.
    The only thing I will add concerning this narrative idea is something I mentioned in recent previous post but got no feedback!
    if the narrative is a narrative of Israeli Y-DNA carrying males marrying generation after generation of Non Levantine Middle Eastern & North African women then southern European women then European Women then the overall Autosomal DNA of modern Western Jews will have been predominantly inherited through maternal inherited admixture, which would have it’s own ramifications.

    Anyway maybe the truth of the matter is somewhere between both these narratives.
    I’m still on the fence.

    Thoughts anyone??

    Attachment 32317

    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudio View Post
    Show me these North African shifted Cypriots. You keep mentioning them.
    הִנְנִי֩ מֵבִ֨יא אוֹתָ֜ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ צָפ֗וֹן

    Jeremiah 31

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