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

  1. #7061
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Ok so I ran all the Italian samples in my East Med G25 PCA, here's what it looks like:<br>...<br>
    <br>
    While I removed the South Italian reference, I disagree with Seabass as I think its presence remains absolutely necessary. If I am not mistaken these samples are from Calabria (I'm sure at least one comes from Belvedere Marittimo), and so they're a neat addition to the two Calabrian samples. I'll come back to this, because it further illustrates the point I'm about to make.<br>
    <br>
    I spent a lot of time fiddling with the PCA, adding and removing populations to obtain a clearer picture. But none of it worked. So I decided to add more resolution so as to better visualise the situation in South-Central Italy (Even with this, I had to add tags to untangle this mess):<br>
    <br>
    ...<br>
    <br>
    I'll be straightforward, I take the above as a clear indication that many of us have vastly overestimated the degree of substructure throughout the Mezzogiorno. Apulians, Abruzzesi, Campani, Lucani, Calabresi and Molisani are all very close to each other, the variation is minimal. Calabria, Sicily, Campania, Basilicata and Apulia in particular are near-identical with Basilicata being the average for the southernmost Italians, Abruzzo is also remarkably similar and seems to comprise Molise, these are somewhat transitional and shifted towards Europe in the same sense "Western Sicily" is (notice how one of the samples plots in Central Italy).<br>
    <br>
    Coming back to the South Italian reference, if we are to include it and assume that the samples are really Calabrian, then this would draw the Calabrian average even closer to Basilicata and Campania... And there's a fair chance this is correct.<br>
    <br>
    The almost complete overlap between Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria and (Eastern) Sicily in my view leaves little room for complex scenarios, I do not deny the presence of additional Near Eastern, Italic and North African admixture in some of these regions, but the odds are clearly in favour of a common Hellenic background. There's just no way around it at this point.<br>
    <br>
    And I am not posting this here for mere convenience. This might very well strengthen an Italian, and probably even South Italian (in Calabria or Lucania/Basilicata) homeland for the Western Jewish source population if this population indeed derived the majority of its ancestry from the Greeks. I did not add the Jews in these PCAs because their presence would make the picture even messier, but it should suffice to say that there is a lot of overlap with Jewish populations.
    Nice work, though I disagree with your epilogue (emphasized by me).

    The first problem is that South Italy wasn't a major Jewish settlement area back in Roman times. Certainly, many Jews did live there, but the biggest most substantial community was Rome. In fact, even most of the exiled Jewish slaves taken by Hadrian and the previous much fewer exiled Jews taken by Titus (following the Great Revolt), both were mostly taken into Rome itself.

    Second, we actually have maternal lineages from South Italy, if you recall from few months ago:

    https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....l=1#post493837

    We've mentioned a recent paper which has been published few months ago, and that paper introduced mtDNA from 30 Roman samples. They are from Vagnari in Puglia, Italy, and are thought to be the remains of Romans lower classes that lived in an imperial estate, dated to 1st-4th century AD. Presumably, they should have some of the dominant Ashkenazi maternal subclades, which they don't (except for H47):

     


    I think we're looking at a rare combination of similar components in the case of Sicilians and South Italians, in that in addition to having substantial predominant Hellenic ancestry (as Western Jews seem to have, and has been endlessly discussed in this thread), they also have North African ancestry and North Italian-like admixture (from either the original pre-Hellenic Italic people or later migration from the North), which no other contemporary population with predominant Hellenic ancestry have. For instance, Aegean Greeks have no North African, and no North Italian admixture. And the Slavic admixture in Cretans does make Cretans and Ashkenazi Jews somewhat closer, but then the lack of North Italian-like and North African admixture make Sicilians and South Italians still closer.

    This is the very problem of using contemporary populations to estimate ancient admixtures

    In any case, I think that when the Imperial and Republican Era Roman samples from the Moot et al. study and the other study that member kolgeh mentioned (and I've seen the PCA of that study myself) will become available, we're going to have very good fits for modeling Western Jews, precisely because it seems Romans from that era had significant Hellenic-like ancestry, similar to contemporary South Italians.

    In fact, as both you Aga and myself have already concluded months ago, the only way to finally prove whether most of the Hellenic admixture was introduced in the East Mediterranean or in Rome, now that we know Imperial-era Romans were also Hellenic-like, is to actually get ancient Jewish samples from the East Mediterranean. Another approach, using contemporary Jewish samples, is what I'm trying to do with my search for Egyptian Karaites (and which I've managed to sample only one for now, unfortunately), and that is looking into Levantine Jews which haven't admixed with Sephardic or Western Jews, to see if they have some Greco-Roman like admixture.

    And a general comment to all here - sorry for disappearing lately, I've started a new position and I won't have a lot of time to actively participate as I used to, though I'm still reading all the posts . Of course, when and if any significant new discovery will show itself, please PM me if you don't see me thanking or responding !
    Last edited by Erikl86; 09-07-2019 at 08:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    I think we're looking at a rare combination of similar components in the case of Sicilians and South Italians, in that in addition to having substantial predominant Hellenic ancestry (as Western Jews seem to have, and has been endlessly discussed in this thread), they also have North African ancestry and North Italian-like admixture (from either the original pre-Hellenic Italic people or later migration from the North), which no other contemporary population with predominant Hellenic ancestry have. For instance, Aegean Greeks have no North African, and no North Italian admixture. And the Slavic admixture in Cretans does make Cretans and Ashkenazi Jews somewhat closer, but then the lack of North Italian-like and North African admixture make Sicilians and South Italians still closer.
    On the note of Hellenic admixture in Italy, what surprises me is how much further north it extends than what I had anticipated. From GEDmatch results I have seen from as far north as Marche, you can see a definite shift toward southern Italians and the Aegean (in the sense that they are appearing as close to Sicilians as to Tuscans), which if you look at y-dna would have been entirely unforeseen and unprecedented. Also, that there was little to no direct Greek settlement there. So when we discuss "how much original Italic admixture remains in southern Italy" we can gather that not only is it not predominant, but it had been eroded as far north as Marche, likely caused by migrations northward.

    Also, this extends the ability for the Ashkenazi ethnogenesis to have taken place in Central, rather than Southern, Italy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    While I removed the South Italian reference, I disagree with Seabass as I think its presence remains absolutely necessary. If I am not mistaken these samples are from Calabria (I'm sure at least one comes from Belvedere Marittimo), and so they're a neat addition to the two Calabrian samples.
    Quote Originally Posted by vitellia View Post
    South Italian reference. BEL57 is from Calabria (Belvedere Marittimo in northern Calabria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belvedere_Marittimo) the others (ITS2, ITS4, ITS7) are from other parts of South Italy (Campania, Apulia), so I read about it a while ago in a study, though now I can't find where I read it.
    Yeah, it was a pain in the ass to find, but I found them. Only the one Italian_South sample (BEL57) is Calabrian. Two are Campanians and one is Apulian. Here are the exact cities:

    BEL57 - Belvedere Marittimo
    ITS2 - Naples
    ITS4 - Naples
    ITS7 - Crispiano

    I went ahead and renamed them according to their province in my own copy of the G25 spreadsheet (so I don't forget what they are later). I'm glad I have at least one more Calabrian sample to add to the pair. It's a bummer to have less than three samples in any one group because you can't get a "convex hull" going for easy visualization.

    The modern West Eurasian PCA looks nice with all these new Italians in tow:

     




    Med continuum close-up:

     


    I also renamed Italian_Northeast to "Italian_Friuli_Venezia_Giulia." That name might be too long for David but I don't mind it.

    A quick PCA with the peripheral North Italians colored. Friuli Venezia Giulia in beige, Aosta Valley in orange (only 2 samples), Veneto in purple, Trentino-Alto Adige in chartreuse. Germanics in red, French in turqoise, everybody else in blue:

     


    Based on PCA, it looks like Friulians and Aostans are the North Italians with the most pull toward Northern Europe. This doesn't surprise me because Aosta is Valdotain territory and might as well be French. Likewise, Friulians have a Rhaeto-Romance background. A few Veneto and Trentino samples also show a northern skew, but most don't pull away very far from other typically West Med North Italians. I'm also inclined to agree with Ruderico that the extreme outliers ALP414 and and ALP188 are probably not ethnic Italians (presumably German in the Trentino case and maybe Slovene in the Friuli case).
    Last edited by Michalis Moriopoulos; 09-08-2019 at 06:36 AM.
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    So of Behar's Cypriots one is maybe a Maronite and the other a Aegean immigrant? (not suggesting they are any less Cypriot)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
    So of Behar's Cypriots one is maybe a Maronite and the other a Aegean immigrant? (not suggesting they are any less Cypriot)
    I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised. I just hated having enormous hulls caused by obvious outliers because it creates an ugly, cumbersome mess. That's why I divvied up the Cypriot samples that way. I did the same with the Syrians. I think I used some kind of cluster analysis in PAST to decide who went where in the latter case. It certainly looks much nicer. The use of BedouinA and BedouinB inspired me to use the alphabet convention.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised. I just hated having enormous hulls caused by obvious outliers because it creates an ugly, cumbersome mess. That's why I divvied up the Cypriot samples that way. I did the same with the Syrians. I think I used some kind of cluster analysis in PAST to decide who went where in the latter case. It certainly looks much nicer. The use of BedouinA and BedouinB inspired me to use the alphabet convention.
    With presumably Cypriot A providing the median, and probable best average position. Will be really interesting when Maronite Cypriot results (which are being analysed as we speak) are released. Of course, we don't know how far local Orthodox married into the religiously privileged Maronite community during the four centuries of Latin rule. Likewise we don't know how far the Maronites affected the overall Orthodox Greek and Muslim Turkish gene pools in Cyprus as a result of their conversions under Ottoman rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    Med continuum close-up:

     
    I like this chart because we can see exactly where this East Med continuum begins... it begins at Abruzzo/Molise, and might include the very southernmost plotting mainland Greeks (Maniots?). But clearly does not include most mainland Greeks nor "true" central Italians.

    What interests me here is Calabria, Campania, and Crete all plot closely with one another, while both East and West Sicily are shifted slightly toward the Abruzzese. This is clearly because of which Sicilians were used -- southeast Sicily to represent "East" and Trapani to represent "West." A more comprehensive Sicilian sample that included Palermo, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Messina, etc. would encompass a very wide spectrum on the chart, all the way from Abruzzo over to Crete, with a large portion falling directly on top of Crete, Calabria, and Campania. I have a number of results from the Madonie mountain area in Palermo who come out on GEDMatch as 90% Cretan, 10% North African also, they might end up slightly outside the main cluster too.
    Last edited by Sikeliot; 09-08-2019 at 12:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michalis Moriopoulos View Post
    Yeah, it was a pain in the ass to find, but I found them. Only the one Italian_South sample (BEL57) is Calabrian. Two are Campanians and one is Apulian. Here are the exact cities:

    BEL57 - Belvedere Marittimo
    ITS2 - Naples
    ITS4 - Naples
    ITS7 - Crispiano

    I went ahead and renamed them according to their province in my own copy of the G25 spreadsheet (so I don't forget what they are later). I'm glad I have at least one more Calabrian sample to add to the pair. It's a bummer to have less than three samples in any one group because you can't get a "convex hull" going for easy visualization.

    The modern West Eurasian PCA looks nice with all these new Italians in tow:

     




    Med continuum close-up:

     


    I also renamed Italian_Northeast to "Italian_Friuli_Venezia_Giulia." That name might be too long for David but I don't mind it.

    A quick PCA with the peripheral North Italians colored. Friuli Venezia Giulia in beige, Aosta Valley in orange (only 2 samples), Veneto in purple, Trentino-Alto Adige in chartreuse. Germanics in red, French in turqoise, everybody else in blue:

     


    Based on PCA, it looks like Friulians and Aostans are the North Italians with the most pull toward Northern Europe. This doesn't surprise me because Aosta is Valdotain territory and might as well be French. Likewise, Friulians have a Rhaeto-Romance background. A few Veneto and Trentino samples also show a northern skew, but most don't pull away very far from other typically West Med North Italians. I'm also inclined to agree with Ruderico that the extreme outliers ALP414 and and ALP188 are probably not ethnic Italians (presumably German in the Trentino case and maybe Slovene in the Friuli case).
    Thanks for this, I updated the PCA accordingly, here's the close-up:



    Which further drives my point as the overlap is even more pronounced here. Basilicata does seem to be the average for the southernmost Italians, Campania is slightly shifted southwards, one of the two Neapolitans is particularly close to one of the Greeks (probably Maniot) while the other ends up in the Calabrian cluster, finally the additional Apulian ends up near Lazio and Marche.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 09-08-2019 at 05:09 PM.
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    Campania seems more southern there than Calabria. Why?

    EDIT: I take it back: Campania has the most southern outliers i.e. closest to Cypriots, but Calabria has a more southern average. Still, we can see that Campania, Calabria are more "southern" than Abruzzo/Apulia/Molise, with Basilicata in the middle, and while all of these have a predominant Aegean base, their placement along the cline is determined by the overall amount of North European vs Near Eastern/MENA they have in their secondary components.
    Last edited by Sikeliot; 09-08-2019 at 07:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    On the note of Hellenic admixture in Italy, what surprises me is how much further north it extends than what I had anticipated. From GEDmatch results I have seen from as far north as Marche, you can see a definite shift toward southern Italians and the Aegean (in the sense that they are appearing as close to Sicilians as to Tuscans), which if you look at y-dna would have been entirely unforeseen and unprecedented. Also, that there was little to no direct Greek settlement there. So when we discuss "how much original Italic admixture remains in southern Italy" we can gather that not only is it not predominant, but it had been eroded as far north as Marche, likely caused by migrations northward.

    Also, this extends the ability for the Ashkenazi ethnogenesis to have taken place in Central, rather than Southern, Italy.
    What i’d really like to know is how far this Hellenic South Italian like plotting extended in imperial Roman times in regard to North of Rome? North Central Italy? North Italy proper?

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