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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ter View Post
    Modern mainland Greeks are not very far from ancient Mycenaeans, but modern Greeks from Aegean and Crete are closer to them on PCA plot:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jbkf85nd4h...reeks.png?dl=0

    Mainland Greek are shifted towards Balkan Slavs, but those Balkan Slavs are quite distant from their ancient Slavic ancestors from the North, because they are very mixed with autochthonous Balkan populations.

    This is my own personal belief as well, which would explain why they had little cultural and/or linguistic effect on the Greeks - they were already heavily "Balkanized", ie adopted similar culture, languages etc. that were spoken by other Balkan people that were adjacent to the Greeks. Being that they Greeks were already in heavy contact with these ethnic groups for millennia, I suspect there was no "shock" effect of alien culture invading Greek lands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Principe
    Well with the exception of the Sicels, Italic groups came fairly late into Southern Italy, Lucanians and Brutti came into Basilicata and Calabria around the middle of the 400's BC, and a chunk of Salerno was part of the historic Lucania province in Roman times so it applies to them as well. Apulia has a different ethnic background of the South during the Iron Age as the Tribes that lived there were Illyrian in origin so this can explain Puglia shift towards the Balkans. Anyways we'll have to see how the ancient Dorics looked like genetically to see if this applies. Greeks were in Southern Italy at least 200-350 years before the Italic Tribes really made their impact, and the local populations like the Oenotrians, Elymnians and Sicani were very likely what the Bronze Age population of Southern Italy was like.
    Indeed, Greek colonization and settlement in Southern Italy and Sicily was massive and widespread. For me, the fact that there is such a sharp difference between North Italians and South Italians without significant intermediate population (even "central" Italians are sharply divided, although to a lesser degree) to me is a strong indication that ancient Sicilians and South Italians were probably more similar to Central and Northern Italians in the past (during the Bronze Age), but Greek colonization shifted them heavily towards the East Mediterranean. The fact that there is a cline between North East Iberia, South France, South Swiss, and North Italy all the way to Tuscany, while on the other hand South Italians and Sicilians, in exactly the places that happen to correlate with previous Greek speaking territories are markedly different and cluster tightly to Aegean Greeks that have very minimal Slavic admixture, to me is a very good indicator of this.
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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Indeed, Greek colonization and settlement in Southern Italy and Sicily was massive and widespread. For me, the fact that there is such a sharp difference between North Italians and South Italians without significant intermediate population (even "central" Italians are sharply divided, although to a lesser degree) to me is a strong indication that ancient Sicilians and South Italians were probably more similar to Central and Northern Italians in the past (during the Bronze Age), but Greek colonization shifted them heavily towards the East Mediterranean. The fact that there is a cline between North East Iberia, South France, South Swiss, and North Italy all the way to Tuscany, while on the other hand South Italians and Sicilians, in exactly the places that happen to correlate with previous Greek speaking territories are markedly different and cluster tightly to Aegean Greeks that have very minimal Slavic admixture, to me is a very good indicator of this.

    This leaves out the fact that both Sicilians, south Italians (less so Apulians) and many Aegean island Greeks have additional Near Eastern even compared to Mycenaeans and Minoans. But overall yes, I agree.

    In fact, Lazio is a sharp genetic boundary -- they go from being like Tuscans to being like South Italians rather abruptly. Almost as abrupt as the difference between mainland and island Greeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    I don't know exactly if you could quantify it to 40% as some here suggested, plus the fact that those Slavs left no cultural or linguistic mark on the Greeks makes me doubt they arrived as "pure" Slavs and probably did mix along the way with pre-existing Balkan populations North to the Greeks before arriving and mixing with the ancestors of modern Greeks, but there is indeed a genetic cline from north to south in the Greek mainland of Slavic admixture from Thrace and Macedonia (Greek Macedonia that is) all the way to the Peloponnese.
    Did anyone at least speculate that the "Slavic" population might have been the Vlachs? I mean the North of Greece has a lot of Vlach toponyms and to this day some of them still speak Aromanian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    This leaves out the fact that both Sicilians, south Italians (less so Apulians) and many Aegean island Greeks have additional Near Eastern even compared to Mycenaeans and Minoans. But overall yes, I agree.

    In fact, Lazio is a sharp genetic boundary -- they go from being like Tuscans to being like South Italians rather abruptly. Almost as abrupt as the difference between mainland and island Greeks.
    In your opinion would Rome be above or below the line?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikeliot View Post
    This leaves out the fact that both Sicilians, south Italians (less so Apulians) and many Aegean island Greeks have additional Near Eastern even compared to Mycenaeans and Minoans. But overall yes, I agree.

    In fact, Lazio is a sharp genetic boundary -- they go from being like Tuscans to being like South Italians rather abruptly. Almost as abrupt as the difference between mainland and island Greeks.
    Cretans and S. Italians absolutely do not have additional Near Eastern compared to Minoans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajeje Brazorf View Post
    Cretans and S. Italians absolutely do not have additional Near Eastern compared to Minoans.
    Minoans had Neolithic Near Eastern (which modern day Sardinians also have).

    S. Italians and Cretans have post-BA Near Eastern. Hence, there was an additional Near Eastern admixture event.
    Last edited by Erikl86; 09-03-2018 at 03:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cascio View Post
    In your opinion would Rome be above or below the line?
    Above, but modern Rome (after 1861) received so many immigrants from all parts of Italy that it's rare to find pure Romans today. This applies mainly to the city of Rome.
    It may be that this separation central/southcentral Italy is less "aggressive" than it is in reality, we would need samples from every province of Italy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Minoans had Neolithic Near Eastern (which modern day Sardinians also have).

    S. Italians and Cretans have post-BA Near Eastern. Hence, there was an additional Near Eastern admixture event.
    Either Neolithic or Bronze Age, Middle Eastern admixture however was higher in Bronze Age Cretans than in modern Greeks/south Italians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajeje Brazorf View Post
    Either Neolithic or Bronze Age, Middle Eastern admixture however was higher in Bronze Age Cretans than in modern Greeks/south Italians.
    This isn't true if you mean Middle Eastern the way we currently understand it. Minoans can be modeled as a mixture of Caucasian and EEF (what we mistakenly call "Sardinian"), with little else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajeje Brazorf View Post
    Either Neolithic or Bronze Age, Middle Eastern admixture however was higher in Bronze Age Cretans than in modern Greeks/south Italians.
    It's not either - these are two extremely different circumstances. Because Neolithic Near Eastern (Natufian-like) would be carried to Europe by EEF from ancient Anatolia, which Minoans would be very close to genetically. Post-BA Near Eastern would come later on by Phoenicians, Arabs, Near Eastern Christians etc.. So the historical background of this is completely different.

    Also, Neolithic Near Eastern is different from Bronze Age Near Eastern and show up differently. So you can't just group it as "Either Neolithic or Bronze Age".
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