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Thread: How genetically similar are Modern Greeks to the ancient ones?

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    How genetically similar are Modern Greeks to the ancient ones?

    I recently read an article stating that Mainland Greeks are mostly genetically Albanian and Southern Slavic, while Islander Greeks are basically the closest genetically to the Ancient Greeks. I generally find that hard to believe. Can anyone knowledgeable in this area please give me a proper answer please? Thanks!

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    While Aegean and Maniot Greeks are technically closer to the Mycenaeans (and derive between 80% and 90% of their ancestry from them), it's very unlikely that Mainland Greeks are essentially of Albanian and Slavic origin. They can be modeled as ~70% Mycenaean on average, the rest being Slavic, so even though there is a substantial Slavic component, the vast majority of their ancestry is most definitely akin to what we see in the Mycenaeans. The real issue here is whether their ancient namesake (that is to say the Greeks of the Classical period) were like the Mycenaeans, personally I don't think we'll see any major genetic change between the LBA and the Iron Age, moreover despite the relatively low sample count the Mycenaean individuals come from different parts of Greece (Attica, Argolis and the Western Peloponnese) which highlights a lack of significant substructure.
    ᾽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 Simorgh View Post
    I recently read an article stating that Mainland Greeks are mostly genetically Albanian and Southern Slavic, while Islander Greeks are basically the closest genetically to the Ancient Greeks. I generally find that hard to believe. Can anyone knowledgeable in this area please give me a proper answer please? Thanks!
    From a historical point of view, Greece, including the islands, is a country that during the history has been literally emptied and repopulated again of its population several times. I leave the conclusions to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Labėria View Post
    From a historical point of view, Greece, including the islands, is a country that during the history has been literally emptied and repopulated again of its population several times. I leave the conclusions to you.
    You have an albanian agenda. Thats for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nino90 View Post
    You have an albanian agenda. Thats for sure.
    No, i don't have any agenda.
    I simply answered to the question of the OP.
    Please respect the rules, focus on the topic and not on the person.

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    Albanians also can be modeled as descended from Mycenaeans, but I don't think they really do.

    Maybe they are descended from a population that was genetically very similar to Myceaneans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    They can be modeled as ~70% Mycenaean on average, the rest being Slavic
    Albanians can be modeled as ~80% Mycenaean (they have less of Slavic admixture than most of Mainland Greeks).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simorgh View Post
    I recently read an article stating that Mainland Greeks are mostly genetically Albanian and Southern Slavic, while Islander Greeks are basically the closest genetically to the Ancient Greeks. I generally find that hard to believe. Can anyone knowledgeable in this area please give me a proper answer please? Thanks!
    It isn't quantifiable. Imo, it is theoretically possible to be less than what Agamemnon says.

    The thing that I have said many times is that there are many movements from the North, not only Slavs but also 'Celts' and 'Goths' or 'Avars' and whatnot, unless these Goths, Celts and Avars were Slavs.

    On the other hand, we don't have samples from Classical Greeks.

    I personally believe the Early Slavs that reached Peloponnese were more like Western/SW Slavs. That is though an impression I have based on medieval sources, not something provable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanenas View Post
    I personally believe the Early Slavs that reached Peloponnese were more like Western/SW Slavs. That is though an impression I have based on medieval sources, not something provable.
    I agree with this and the reason is even though much of Greeks' Slavic on 23andme is sucked into "Balkan", that which is reported as Eastern European often matches Poland based on the results I have seen.

    Anyway to answer the first poster, I would estimate mainland Greeks to have typically around 30% Slavic when compared to Mycenaean samples, with extreme northern/border regions scoring on the higher end (possibly around 40%) and southern Peloponnesians and islanders closer to 10%. Islanders likely still have some because some islands have received continual flow from the mainland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    I agree with this and the reason is even though much of Greeks' Slavic on 23andme is sucked into "Balkan", that which is reported as Eastern European often matches Poland based on the results I have seen.
    Of course you would agree.

    Either way, there are some things that are overlooked.

    For example in De Administrando Imperio there is a population of Roman settlers in parts of what is now Croatia and Serbia. Constantine calls them 'Romani' and they appear to have moved in the region when Diocletian was the Emperor (244-311 AD).

    The people who are called 'Avars' in the text appear to have been a Slavic population from beyond the Danube. He seems to connect the use of the word 'Avars' to them being originally unarmed.

    ἔθνη Σκλαβήνικα ἄοπλα ὄντα, ἅτινα καὶ Ἄβαροι ἐκαλοῦντο.

    The 'Romani' (Roman settlers) moved towards the coastal regions, the islands, what is now Split and Dubrovnik etc Αccording to the text the were expelled from most of the regions they inhabited when Heraclius was the emperor. (610-641)

    And he says that emperor Heraclius practically asked Croats to expel these 'Avars' (who appear to have been Slavs in the text) from the region.
    At that time their ruler was, according to the text, the father of Porga. Croats, according to the text, were inhabiting a region close to Bavaria.

    So Slavic 'Avars' expel Romani. And Croats expel these 'Avars', according to the text.

    These 'Avars' and similar populations might have been among the 'Slavs' that moved South.
    Last edited by Kanenas; 09-01-2018 at 03:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    I agree with this and the reason is even though much of Greeks' Slavic on 23andme is sucked into "Balkan", that which is reported as Eastern European often matches Poland based on the results I have seen.

    Anyway to answer the first poster, I would estimate mainland Greeks to have typically around 30% Slavic when compared to Mycenaean samples, with extreme northern/border regions scoring on the higher end (possibly around 40%) and southern Peloponnesians and islanders closer to 10%. Islanders likely still have some because some islands have received continual flow from the mainland.
    There is a long way from Mycenaean Greece to the Classical period, including the sudden collapse of Mycenaean culture as evidenced by the abandonment and destruction of notable settlements and palaces. In this meantime, i'm completely sure that a lot of population replacement occured and more steppe ancestry was introduced in Greece.

    Saying that modern Greeks are 30% Slavic only because they shift north compared to Mycenaeans sounds non sense.
    Last edited by Token; 09-01-2018 at 05:56 PM.

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