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Thread: Iberian Ancient DNA on the works

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    Iberian Ancient DNA on the works

    So the ISBA 2018 has blessed us with great new prospective studies for those of us with an interest in Iberian genetics.

    The genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula over the last 8000 years

    I. Olalde1, N. Rohland1, S. Mallick1,2,3, N. Patterson2, M. Allentoft4, K. Kristiansen5, K. G. Sjögren5, R. Pinhasi6, C. Lalueza-Fox7D. Reich1,2,3

    The Iberian Peninsula, lying on the southwestern corner of Europe, provides an excellent opportunity to assess the final impact of population movements entering the continent from the east and to study prehistoric and historic connections with North Africa. Previous studies have addressed the population history of Iberia using ancient genomes, but the final steps leading to the formation of the modern Iberian gene pool during the last 4000 years remain largely unexplored. Here we report genome-wide data from 153 ancient individuals from Iberia, more than doubling the number of available genomes from this region and providing the most comprehensive genetic transect of any region in the world during the last 8000 years. We find that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers dated to the last centuries before the arrival of farmers showed an increased genetic affinity to central European hunter-gatherers, as compared to earlier individuals. During the third millennium BCE, Iberia received newcomers from south and north. The presence of one individual with a North African origin in central Iberia demonstrates early sporadic contacts across the strait of Gibraltar. Beginning ~2500 BCE, the arrival of individuals with steppe-related ancestry had a rapid and widespread genetic impact, with Bronze Age populations deriving ~40% of their autosomal ancestry and 100% of their Y-chromosomes from these migrants. During the later Iron Age, the first genome-wide data from ancient non-Indo-European speakers showed that they were similar to contemporaneous Indo-European speakers and derived most of their ancestry from the earlier Bronze Age substratum.With the exception of Basques, who remain broadly similar to Iron Age populations, during the last 2500 years Iberian populations were affected by additional gene-flow from the Central/Eastern Mediterranean region, probably associated to the Roman conquest, and from North Africa during the Moorish conquest but also in earlier periods, probably related to the Phoenician-Punic colonization of Southern Iberia.
    So it seems there was a population structure in the Iberian peninsula as it pertains to the Hunter Gatherer populations, this other abstract appears to support that notion.

    The Neolithic transition in the Iberian Peninsula – reviewing an old question from new laboratory and computational approaches

    G. Gonzalez-Fortes1, F. Tassi1, E. Trucchi1, A. Grandal D'Anglade2, J. Paijmans3, K. Henneberger3, C. Barroso1, A. Bettencourt4R. Fabregas4, A. Lombera4, M. Hofreiter3, G. Barbujani1

    In this study we investigated the demographic impact of the Neolithic transition in the Iberian Peninsula by combining cutting edge technologies in ancient DNA studies and statistical inference methods. The Neolithic was a major revolution in human prehistory, as human populations moved from a nomadic hunter-gatherer (HG) way of life to sedentary communities living on farming and agriculture. It was a global process that spread fast from the Near East into Europe by a combination of cultural and demographic events. As a general picture, recent studies have shown that in south and central Europe the Neolithic transition was mainly mediated by migration and admixture between pioneering farmers and local HG, while in the north and northeastern latitudes, cultural diffusion seems to have played a major role. In our study we investigated the dynamics and demographic effects of the Neolithic transition at a local scale. We sampled ancient human remains in the north and south of the Iberian Peninsula, and based on whole genome data and 14C dates, we have investigated the times, modes and demographic sources of the Neolithic diffusion at the two westernmost shores of Europe: the Atlantic and Mediterranean areas in Iberia. Our results show a different genomic background in samples from the North and South of the Iberian Peninsula, which could be explained by a combination of: 1) a different rate of admixture with the pioneering farmers; and 2) the pre-existence of some genetic structure in the Iberian populations before the Neolithic transition.
    Next big elephant in the room is the following:

    The genetic history of the Iberian Peninsula over the last 8000 years

    I. Olalde1, N. Rohland1, S. Mallick1,2,3, N. Patterson2, M. Allentoft4, K. Kristiansen5, K. G. Sjögren5, R. Pinhasi6, C. Lalueza-Fox7D. Reich1,2,3

    The Iberian Peninsula, lying on the southwestern corner of Europe, provides an excellent opportunity to assess the final impact of population movements entering the continent from the east and to study prehistoric and historic connections with North Africa. Previous studies have addressed the population history of Iberia using ancient genomes, but the final steps leading to the formation of the modern Iberian gene pool during the last 4000 years remain largely unexplored. Here we report genome-wide data from 153 ancient individuals from Iberia, more than doubling the number of available genomes from this region and providing the most comprehensive genetic transect of any region in the world during the last 8000 years.We find that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers dated to the last centuries before the arrival of farmers showed an increased genetic affinity to central European hunter-gatherers, as compared to earlier individuals. During the third millennium BCE, Iberia received newcomers from south and north. The presence of one individual with a North African origin in central Iberia demonstrates early sporadic contacts across the strait of Gibraltar. Beginning ~2500 BCE, the arrival of individuals with steppe-related ancestry had a rapid and widespread genetic impact, with Bronze Age populations deriving ~40% of their autosomal ancestry and 100% of their Y-chromosomes from these migrants. During the later Iron Age, the first genome-wide data from ancient non-Indo-European speakers showed that they were similar to contemporaneous Indo-European speakers and derived most of their ancestry from the earlier Bronze Age substratum.With the exception of Basques, who remain broadly similar to Iron Age populations, during the last 2500 years Iberian populations were affected by additional gene-flow from the Central/Eastern Mediterranean region, probably associated to the Roman conquest, and from North Africa during the Moorish conquest but also in earlier periods, probably related to the Phoenician-Punic colonization of Southern Iberia.

    So it seems there was a replacement rate of about 40% of the pre-Steppe bronze age genome by this incoming migrants. However, I don't think the statement above means that Bronze Age Iberians were 40% Yamnaya, but that Bronze Age Iberians were 40% Central European Beakers, who in turn are ~50% Yamnaya-like. Thus Bronze Age Iberians were on average about 20% Yamnaya. This is in line with the few results we have seen coming from Beaker genomes in Iberia with Steppe ancestry. Now, the sampling of the very first non-Indo-European speakers is key here! If this are Iberians genomes, as in from the Iberian tribes, then I think the non-difference between contemporary Indo-European speaking population and non-Indo-European speaking population shows that either the diffusion of Indo-European languages in Iberia had little gene flow during the Iron Age, or that non-Indo-European speaking Iberians were also from the same stock population. The high degree of similarity between Iron Age Iberians and Bronze age Iberians posits a dilemma. Either:

    1) Indo-European languages were brought over during the Bronze Age expansion starting at 2500 BCE and then non-IndoEuropean languages arrive much later in small proportions and were adopted by the majority of the population, thus resulting a majority Non-Indo-European speaking population with a Steppe-component like their Indo-European speaking neighbors. Perhaps Lusitanian and Tartessian are vestiges of this first Indo-European layer.

    2) The Bronze Age migrants from Central Europe spoke a non-Indo European language to begin with, and did not change the language landscape in Iberia. Then starting during the Urnfield culture, and proceeding with the Hallstat & La Tene Migrations Indo-European languages were brought over to Iberia via elite dominance, therefore yielding the genetic similarity between non-IE and IE Iron Age Iberians.

    I think the lack of genetic differentiation between non-IE speaking Iron Age Iberians and IE speaking Iron Age Iberians opens a pandora's box, and I think that the link of R1b-DF27+Steppe= IE is not that clear in Iberia to begin with, if it were then we need to explain how large percentages of its population did not acquire the IE languages in spite of acquiring the IE gene footprint. I don't think Celt-Iberian, not Gallaecian are old enough to have come in the Bronze Age, Lusitanian is the only possibility, however again, assuming that the first wave was Lusitanian, and Celt-Iberian+other Celtic languages arrive via elite dominance, then one still has to explain the Iberian Language, the Aquitanian Language.

    In laymen terms, this isn't just about the pesky Basque anymore, add to them now the humongous amount of non-IE speaking Iberians who appear be no different from their IE speaking neighbors, which means they are likely R1b-DF27 derived and have Steppe Ancestry yet kept their nonIE language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanL View Post
    So the ISBA 2018 has blessed us with great new prospective studies for those of us with an interest in Iberian genetics.



    So it seems there was a population structure in the Iberian peninsula as it pertains to the Hunter Gatherer populations, this other abstract appears to support that notion.



    Next big elephant in the room is the following:




    So it seems there was a replacement rate of about 40% of the pre-Steppe bronze age genome by this incoming migrants. However, I don't think the statement above means that Bronze Age Iberians were 40% Yamnaya, but that Bronze Age Iberians were 40% Central European Beakers, who in turn are ~50% Yamnaya-like. Thus Bronze Age Iberians were on average about 20% Yamnaya. This is in line with the few results we have seen coming from Beaker genomes in Iberia with Steppe ancestry. Now, the sampling of the very first non-Indo-European speakers is key here! If this are Iberians genomes, as in from the Iberian tribes, then I think the non-difference between contemporary Indo-European speaking population and non-Indo-European speaking population shows that either the diffusion of Indo-European languages in Iberia had little gene flow during the Iron Age, or that non-Indo-European speaking Iberians were also from the same stock population. The high degree of similarity between Iron Age Iberians and Bronze age Iberians posits a dilemma. Either:

    1) Indo-European languages were brought over during the Bronze Age expansion starting at 2500 BCE and then non-IndoEuropean languages arrive much later in small proportions and were adopted by the majority of the population, thus resulting a majority Non-Indo-European speaking population with a Steppe-component like their Indo-European speaking neighbors. Perhaps Lusitanian and Tartessian are vestiges of this first Indo-European layer.

    2) The Bronze Age migrants from Central Europe spoke a non-Indo European language to begin with, and did not change the language landscape in Iberia. Then starting during the Urnfield culture, and proceeding with the Hallstat & La Tene Migrations Indo-European languages were brought over to Iberia via elite dominance, therefore yielding the genetic similarity between non-IE and IE Iron Age Iberians.

    I think the lack of genetic differentiation between non-IE speaking Iron Age Iberians and IE speaking Iron Age Iberians opens a pandora's box, and I think that the link of R1b-DF27+Steppe= IE is not that clear in Iberia to begin with, if it were then we need to explain how large percentages of its population did not acquire the IE languages in spite of acquiring the IE gene footprint. I don't think Celt-Iberian, not Gallaecian are old enough to have come in the Bronze Age, Lusitanian is the only possibility, however again, assuming that the first wave was Lusitanian, and Celt-Iberian+other Celtic languages arrive via elite dominance, then one still has to explain the Iberian Language, the Aquitanian Language.

    In laymen terms, this isn't just about the pesky Basque anymore, add to them now the humongous amount of non-IE speaking Iberians who appear be no different from their IE speaking neighbors, which means they are likely R1b-DF27 derived and have Steppe Ancestry yet kept their nonIE language.
    The I2 mesolithic-turned-farmers, G2a2, and possible E-V13 derived men were all there prior to the P312+ men with 'steppe' ancestry were. They spoke some set of languages, why not non-IE languages? Who can really say for certain the dynamic of how a language is adopted in one tribe versus another? There may be common themes, but there are many scenarios and exceptions.
    YDNA: R1b-Z220 (A7066+) (1800's Stepney, London(Bethnal Green), UK George Wood b. 1782
    maternal-grandfather YDNA: prob. I1 Gurr, George 1843, Feversham, Kent, England.
    maternal-grandmother YDNA: R1b-P311+ Beech, John Richard b. 1780, Lewes, England
    maternal-ggrandfather YDNA R1b-U106 Thomas, Edward b 1854, Sittingbourne, Kent
    paternal-ggf YDNA: R1b-L48. Gould, John Somerset England 1800s.
    paternal-ggf YDNA: R1b-L48. Scott, William Hamilton mdka Ireland(?) < 1800s

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADW_1981 View Post
    The I2 mesolithic-turned-farmers, G2a2, and possible E-V13 derived men were all there prior to the P312+ men with 'steppe' ancestry were. They spoke some set of languages, why not non-IE languages? Who can really say for certain the dynamic of how a language is adopted in one tribe versus another? There may be common themes, but there are many scenarios and exceptions.
    Of course that the Copper Age Iberians likely spoke non-IE languages, but again why would Iron Age Iberians who are not IE-speaking have the "Steppe" signature. Like I said, why would some Iberians adopt IE languages and other wouldn't. So if IE Languages came with R1b-DF27 circa 2500 BC and so did the Steppe component, then it is reasonable to assume that they change the landscape of the whole peninsula, not just sections of it, because why would there be survivals of nonIE languages if there is genetic difussion? In other words, why would the IE speaking DF27 carriers chose to adopt a nonIE language in what is nowadays Valencia but chose to retain their language in what is nowadays Galicia? Again, I think that some branches of R1b-P312 or perhaps even R1b-DF27 were IE speaking and some weren't. We need something like this to explain the linguistic diversity found in pre-Roman Iberia with the lack of genetic diversity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanL View Post
    Of course that the Copper Age Iberians likely spoke non-IE languages, but again why would Iron Age Iberians who are not IE-speaking have the "Steppe" signature. Like I said, why would some Iberians adopt IE languages and other wouldn't. So if IE Languages came with R1b-DF27 circa 2500 BC and so did the Steppe component, then it is reasonable to assume that they change the landscape of the whole peninsula, not just sections of it, because why would there be survivals of nonIE languages if there is genetic difussion? In other words, why would the IE speaking DF27 carriers chose to adopt a nonIE language in what is nowadays Valencia but chose to retain their language in what is nowadays Galicia? Again, I think that some branches of R1b-P312 or perhaps even R1b-DF27 were IE speaking and some weren't. We need something like this to explain the linguistic diversity found in pre-Roman Iberia with the lack of genetic diversity.
    I don't have scholarly sources right on hand for this, but there was a strong historical tradition of attributing matrilineal culture to the Basques and contrasting it with surrounding cultures.

    If ancient Basque (Aquitanian, Vasconian) society was organized around female heads of families, it could explain how R1b and steppe rich ancestry became common in their population without triggering a language shift. Perhaps the society was not fully matrilineal, but merely had an atypically high status of women compared with its neighbors. This itself may have provided enough inertia to stop the spread of a patrilineally transmitted IE language.

    There is also mounting evidence that proto-Basque and Iberian languages were related, and maybe they shared not only a language tradition but a similar culture of high status women. That's highly speculative, but I guess the point I'm trying to make is...let's not totally dismiss cultural factors yet. If the beaker culture could leap from non IE iberians to IE steppe migrants, maybe steppe rich ancestry can move from IE speakers to other language communities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanL View Post
    Of course that the Copper Age Iberians likely spoke non-IE languages, but again why would Iron Age Iberians who are not IE-speaking have the "Steppe" signature.
    Perhaps because, in many cases, non-IE languages came after the steppe migrations. Many are used to think about IE-speakers as conquerors, as people who subjugated outsiders and forced their own culture over the conquered population - but perhaps sometimes the opposite happened. In some others parts of Europe, such as Finland, the same process is seen, that of the imposition of non-IE language over an area that initially spoke Indo-Eruopean, without great loss in the share of steppe ancestry.

    This fact is consistent with the linguistic theory of Late Basquisation, whereby certain non-IE languages of the Iberian peninsula, such as the Basque language, set roots in the region after the arrival of IE languages, as suggested by patterns in toponym and hydronymy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
    Perhaps because, in many cases, non-IE languages came after the steppe migrations. Many are used to think about IE-speakers as conquerors, as people who subjugated outsiders and forced their own culture over the conquered population - but perhaps sometimes the opposite happened. In some others parts of Europe, such as Finland, the same process is seen, that of the imposition of non-IE language over an area that initially spoke Indo-Eruopean, without great loss in the share of steppe ancestry.

    This fact is consistent with the linguistic theory of Late Basquisation, whereby certain non-IE languages of the Iberian peninsula, such as the Basque language, set roots in the region after the arrival of IE languages, as suggested by patterns in toponym and hydronymy.
    I haven't read much about a theory of late Basquisation. Do you know of any academic works I could check out?

    Right now I think cultural and geographic/climactic factors are enough to explain the persistence of non IE language in Iberia. I think the process may even have a parallel in Italy with the Etruscans. Greeks and Romans also noted the remarkable freedom and higher status of women in Etruscan society. This may have meant that incorporating new male elites was less likely to force language change. Incoming Bell Beaker men may have found it more convenient to adopt or let their children adopt the native language if it meant joining a wealthy and powerful family. Especially if the climate made their own cultural adaptions less useful and the native ones more attractive.

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    you forget a third option, which is the most possible one: that the incoming indo-european speakers in the areas of Vasconic/Iberian speakers, they adopted the local language..

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    There are a ton of maps out there that show the language situation in ancient Iberia. I think R. Rocca is mostly correct when he mentioned a trickle effect of entry. I think it might be more like pulses. Many small pulses. I don't think it was one large full force invasion. If you look at these maps you can see that the Indo-European speakers only controlled slightly more than half of the peninsula by 300 B.C., according to one map. DF27 did very well in Iberia, genetically, maybe at the cost of loosing language and culture. In other words, they never arrived with the numbers required to just conquer everybody. It took wave after wave of incoming IE's to finally shift the language and culture.
    Last edited by Webb; 09-06-2018 at 06:04 PM.

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    May I ask when this paper will be released?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweuro View Post
    you forget a third option, which is the most possible one: that the incoming indo-european speakers in the areas of Vasconic/Iberian speakers, they adopted the local language..
    There is nothing that would make Vasconic/Iberian speakers special vs the other people living in Iberia at the arrival of the Central European Beakers. I see no reason as to why one group of people would adopt the local culture and the other one would impose their culture. The only possible explanation that I find, is that of Webb of small drip like entry of Indo-Europeans into Iberia, but even that explanation will imply a small degree of discontinuity between Bronze Age Iberians and Iron Age Iberians. We know Bronze Age Iberians are 15-20% Yamnaya-like, which agrees with the 40% replacement rate. It could be possible that the conquest of Iberia by Indo-Europeans was mostly male mediated and thus contributed only to 40% of the genome, whereas on the British Isles they were settlers and thus we see the 90% replacement rate. Perhaps if you come as settlers you bring your language. The irony!

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