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Thread: Is it possible to talk about the origin of Etruscans in this forum?

  1. #1

    Is it possible to talk about the origin of Etruscans in this forum?

    As an Iranian, I'm really interested to talk about it and ask my genetic questions, I posted some topics in Eupedia forum but all of them were deleted.

    First I want to talk about these genetic studies:

    Mitochondrial DNA Variation of Modern Tuscans Supports the Near Eastern Origin of Etruscans: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1852723/

    Mitogenomes from The 1000 Genome Project Reveal New Near Eastern Features in Present-Day Tuscans: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4365045/

    "The present study adds further support to previously reported findings suggesting the presence of a significant Near East component in Tuscan mitogenomes, and points to Iran as the region in the Near East providing the main genetic signal to present day Tuscans."

    Is it possible or not?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    As an Iranian, I'm really interested to talk about it and ask my genetic questions, I posted some topics in Eupedia forum but all of them were deleted.

    ...

    Is it possible or not?
    As long as the questions posed and the subsequent discussions do not contravene any elements of our Terms of Service, they are welcome here. As a forewarning, speculation regarding the reason(s) why your threads at Eupedia were deleted, however, won't be welcomed (section 3.10).

    I've just skimmed through the two articles you've posted. IMO, there isn't a definitive argument in favour of a broad, recent "Iranian" origin of the West Asian-derived mtDNA lines found in modern Italy. The authors themselves recognise there's an element of sampling bias. Secondly, the MRCA of these Italian-Near Eastern subclades is either unstated, or they're not particularly recent (exceeding 4kya). The totality of the evidence looks in line with the Neolithic expansion of farmers from West Asia (specifically Anatolia) into Europe (this has been confirmed via another line of evidence - autosomal aDNA).

    Further, both of these papers were published before the great first wave of W. Eurasian aDNA (Lazaridis et al.) hit us. Whether the putative "Iranian-related" mtDNA lines these authors had described in the past is substantiated or dismissed based on the current set of aDNA we have is an open question. An argument in favour of a "special connection" between Italy and Iran based on mtDNA is therefore wholly reliant on special pleading (until the aDNA evidence is appraised at least).

    Feel free to pose your question(s) either way. Welcome to the forum!
    Last edited by DMXX; 06-13-2019 at 02:57 PM. Reason: added 3rd para; typo

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  5. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    As long as the questions posed and the subsequent discussions do not contravene any elements of our Terms of Service, they are welcome here. As a forewarning, speculation regarding the reason(s) why your threads at Eupedia were deleted, however, won't be welcomed (section 3.10).

    I've just skimmed through the two articles you've posted. IMO, there isn't a definitive argument in favour of a broad, recent "Iranian" origin of the West Asian-derived mtDNA lines found in modern Italy. The authors themselves recognise there's an element of sampling bias. Secondly, the MRCA of these Italian-Near Eastern subclades is either unstated, or they're not particularly recent (exceeding 4kya). The totality of the evidence looks in line with the Neolithic expansion of farmers from West Asia (specifically Anatolia) into Europe (this has been confirmed via another line of evidence - autosomal aDNA).

    Further, both of these papers were published before the great first wave of W. Eurasian aDNA (Lazaridis et al.) hit us. Whether the putative "Iranian-related" mtDNA lines these authors had described in the past is substantiated or dismissed based on the current set of aDNA we have is an open question. An argument in favour of a "special connection" between Italy and Iran based on mtDNA is therefore wholly reliant on special pleading (until the aDNA evidence is appraised at least).

    Feel free to pose your question(s) either way. Welcome to the forum!
    Thanks for your reply, it seems to be clear that I am interested to talk about a recent migration (more exactly from the Achaemenid era), not what you said about Neolithic expansion of farmers, we read in the second article: "Brisighelli et al. [3] dated the arrival of the Near East U7a2a haplogroup (now known to as U7b1; Phylotree Build 16 [10]) to the Isle of Elba about 2,300 y.a., and the studies of Achilli et al. [8] and Pellecchia et al. [9] agreed with a recent arrival of Near Easterners to Tuscany." What is wrong about it?

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    Etruscan genomes are going to be released soon and we now know that they cluster with Spaniards, Portuguese and Northern Italians. They are a two way mixture of European farmers and Steppe groups from the north and their mtDNA is going to reflect this.

    In other words, they were natives and the pet theories about West Asians migrating into Italy and being responsible for Etruscan civilization are completely dead in the water.

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    we read in the second article: "Brisighelli et al. [3] dated the arrival of the Near East U7a2a haplogroup (now known to as U7b1; Phylotree Build 16 [10]) to the Isle of Elba about 2,300 y.a., and the studies of Achilli et al. [8] and Pellecchia et al. [9] agreed with a recent arrival of Near Easterners to Tuscany." What is wrong about it?
    You've selectively quoted here. An accidental omission can't be inferred, given the authors gave an alternative interpretation in the next line. Rather disingenuous.

    The full quote (what you omitted in bold):

    Therefore, while Brisighelli et al. [3] dated the arrival of the Near East U7a2a haplogroup (now known to as U7b1; Phylotree Build 16 [10]) to the Isle of Elba about 2,300 y.a., and the studies of Achilli et al. [8] and Pellecchia et al. [9] agreed with a recent arrival of Near Easterners to Tuscany (thus supporting the Herodotus theory), other studies (mainly based on the analysis of ancient DNA combined with demographic simulations) favored the proposition of a connection between Tuscans and the Near East in the Neolithic (that is, the moment in which gene flow was extensively occurring in Europe). The latter option would suggest that the Etruscan culture developed locally in Italy, and not as a consequence of the arrival of immigrants from Eastern Mediterranean regions.
    The authors of the second study themselves display the seeming dichotomy that existed in 2015, with respect to the interpretations of the available evidence at that time.

    Given your intentional omission of the second sentence, we can reasonably infer that you favour an Achaemenid-era mtDNA contribution to the Italian peninsula for unknown reasons. Where is your evidence for this from aDNA? (rhetorical, given we have no Achaemenid-era DNA)

    Quote Originally Posted by LTG
    In other words, they were natives and the pet theories about West Asians migrating into Italy and being responsible for Etruscan civilization are completely dead in the water.
    And like fatty poop, they refuse to sink.

    [Edit]: The only set of evidence, based on what we currently have, that would reasonably offer the possibility of an Achaemenid-era mtDNA contribution to Italy from Iran, would be 1+ mtDNA subclades conjoining Italy and Iran, with an MRCA <3kya, where sister clades are largely found in the Iranian plateau, and the subclade(s) in question are completely absent in all the aDNA we currently have from South Europe up to the Iron Age. Does that exist? Someone (perhaps you) who favours this theory (assuming the reading of your intentional omission is correct) would need to produce that here.

    [Edit 2]: I made an error - Misremembered the date of the Etruscan civilisation. Have edited out my reply to your post in relation to them.
    Last edited by DMXX; 06-13-2019 at 05:10 PM. Reason: final 2 sentences + LTG quote, final edit; 2nd edit: mistake made, edited out to avoid OT

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  10. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by LTG View Post
    Etruscan genomes are going to be released soon and we now know that they cluster with Spaniards, Portuguese and Northern Italians. They are a two way mixture of European farmers and Steppe groups from the north and their mtDNA is going to reflect this.

    In other words, they were natives and the pet theories about West Asians migrating into Italy and being responsible for Etruscan civilization are completely dead in the water.
    It is important to mention that I have PhD degree on ancient history of Iran from Tehran university, I'm researching about the origin people who lived in the west of Iran from 3rd millennium BC to 500 BC for about 20 years. There are numerous historical, archaeological, linguistic, cultural and genetic evidences which show in the 1st millennium BC some of these people were forced to migrate to the Central Europe, especially because invasions of Iranian tribes from the east. Of course they were not Etruscans.

  11. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    You've selectively quoted here. An accidental omission can't be inferred, given the authors gave an alternative interpretation in the next line. Rather disingenuous.

    The full quote (what you omitted in bold):



    The authors of the second study themselves display the seeming dichotomy that existed in 2015, with respect to the interpretations of the available evidence at that time.

    Given your intentional omission of the second sentence, we can reasonably infer that you favour an Achaemenid-era mtDNA contribution to the Italian peninsula for unknown reasons. Where is your evidence for this from aDNA? (rhetorical, given we have no Achaemenid-era DNA)



    And like fatty poop, they refuse to sink.

    [Edit]: The only set of evidence, based on what we currently have, that would reasonably offer the possibility of an Achaemenid-era mtDNA contribution to Italy from Iran, would be 1+ mtDNA subclades conjoining Italy and Iran, with an MRCA <3kya, where sister clades are largely found in the Iranian plateau, and the subclade(s) in question are completely absent in all the aDNA we currently have from South Europe up to the Iron Age. Does that exist? Someone (perhaps you) who favours this theory (assuming the reading of your intentional omission is correct) would need to produce that here.

    [Edit 2]: I made an error - Misremembered the date of the Etruscan civilisation. Have edited out my reply to your post in relation to them.
    It is not me who claims that haplogroup U7 existed in the Central Europe before 600 BC, if you believe this haplgroup existed in this region in the 2nd Millennium BC and it couldn't be related to a migration from the West Asia, you should show me aDNA evidences. As we know "Genetic analysis of individuals associated with the Late Hallstatt culture (about 600 BC) from Baden-Württemberg Germany considered to be examples of Iron Age "princely burials" included haplogroup U7."
    Last edited by Cyrus; 06-13-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    It is not who claims that haplogroup U7 existed in the Central Europe before 600 BC, if you believe this haplgroup existed in this region in the 2nd Millennium BC and it couldn't be related to a migration from the West Asia, you should show me aDNA evidences.
    I'm not the one asserting a position (the onus is naturally on you to provide the evidence supporting your view).

    Further, the argument you're specifically raising hasn't been clear until now (you're asserting that mtDNA U7 in South Europe is a marker for an Iron Age to Antiquity east-to-west migration tied to a source with roots that ultimately lie in Iran and these migrations were contributory to the Etruscans, correct?). Either way, I'll bite.

    U7 itself ultimately arose in (or near to) the Iranian plateau (Narasimhan et al. 2018), given the earliest finding of it in SW Iran (Ganj Dareh), the chronological identification of various subclades in or near Iran, and the location of rarer subclades in the same region. As far as I'm aware, there isn't any mtDNA U7 in Neolithic Europe (so far?).

    However, in Sahakyan et al. 2017 - The only subclade-specific assessment of U7 we currently have - No recent (<3kya) shared subclades were identified between Europeans and West Asians (see here).

    The possibility a northern entry route for U7 also exists. mtDNA U7 is a (highly) uncommon subclade in the LBA Eurasian steppe. Li et al. 2015 found one East-Central Asian (Tarim) sample had it. Wang et al. 2018 discovered it in one of their P-C steppe samples (humourously, it was absent in the Caucasus). It is absent in the EBA steppe, so the natural inference is for the introduction of mtDNA U7 to the P-C steppes from further south just prior to the LBA, with a subsequent dispersal to the east. The Tarim mtDNA U7 may have come from South-Central Asian agriculturalists, although that's implausible with the P-C steppe one.

    The neutral hypothesis, based on the above, is that the majority (if not all) of South Europe's mtDNA U7 arrived after the Neolithic, and some degree of contribution from an MLBA steppe source for some of the subclades has to be considered. This is quite different from your Antiquity-era, Achaemenid-specific proposal.

    As I've elaborated on the aDNA landscape concerning mtDNA U7, the onus is now doubly on you to substantiate your position. Are the mtDNA MRCA dates wrong? Are you aware of unpublished data showing the previous assessments were also wrong?
    Last edited by DMXX; 06-13-2019 at 06:27 PM. Reason: 5th paragraph rearrange; added to final para; changed "evidence of" -> "the possibility of"

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  14. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    I'm not the one asserting a position (the onus is naturally on you to provide the evidence supporting your view).

    Further, the argument you're specifically raising hasn't been clear until now (you're asserting that mtDNA U7 in South Europe is a marker for an Iron Age to Antiquity east-to-west migration tied to a source with roots that ultimately lie in Iran and these migrations were contributory to the Etruscans, correct?). Either way, I'll bite.

    U7 itself ultimately arose in (or near to) the Iranian plateau (Narasimhan et al. 2018), given the earliest finding of it in SW Iran (Ganj Dareh), the chronological identification of various subclades in or near Iran, and the location of rarer subclades in the same region. As far as I'm aware, there isn't any mtDNA U7 in Neolithic Europe (so far?).

    However, in Sahakyan et al. 2017 - The only subclade-specific assessment of U7 we currently have - No recent (<3kya) shared subclades were identified between Europeans and West Asians (see here).

    The possibility a northern entry route for U7 also exists. mtDNA U7 is a (highly) uncommon subclade in the LBA Eurasian steppe. Li et al. 2015 found one East-Central Asian (Tarim) sample had it. Wang et al. 2018 discovered it in one of their P-C steppe samples (humourously, it was absent in the Caucasus). It is absent in the EBA steppe, so the natural inference is for the introduction of mtDNA U7 to the P-C steppes from further south just prior to the LBA, with a subsequent dispersal to the east. The Tarim mtDNA U7 may have come from South-Central Asian agriculturalists, although that's implausible with the P-C steppe one.

    The neutral hypothesis, based on the above, is that the majority (if not all) of South Europe's mtDNA U7 arrived after the Neolithic, and some degree of contribution from an MLBA steppe source for some of the subclades has to be considered. This is quite different from your Antiquity-era, Achaemenid-specific proposal.

    As I've elaborated on the aDNA landscape concerning mtDNA U7, the onus is now doubly on you to substantiate your position. Are the mtDNA MRCA dates wrong? Are you aware of unpublished data showing the previous assessments were also wrong?
    I see no reason that we talk about different subclades of U7, as you read in the second article: "U7 has two main haplogroups, U7a and U7b. The Tuscan U7 haplotype belongs to U7a, in particular, to the branch U7a4 determined by transitions T146C and T16126C. Eight out of the nine U7a4 mitogenomes were sampled in the Near East (five in Iran) or South Caucasus (one in Armenia and two in Azerbaijan); the ninth haplotype is the Tuscan."

    As you said there isn't any mtDNA U7 in Neolithic Europe, so it is certainly possible that it came from Iran in the 1st millennium BC, if you believe it is impossible, please show me your aDNA evidences.

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    Ryukendo's summary:

    "Presentation by Hannah Moots. No pictures, not allowed. Paper coming out in a couple of months, done with Pinhasi and Pritchard.
    134 genomes, spanning 12000s BP to Renaissance and enlightenment. 0.5-3.5X coverage. Vast majority of sampling sites concentrated in Rome and surrounds, lowlands of Latium around the Tiber River, up to Ostia, almost all restricted to Lazio. Some extend to Abruzzo, South Le Marche, none, or maybe one, in Tuscany, and on the South of Tuscany if that. Couple of samples from Sardinia. I'll give a PCA position and a ADMIXTURE description for each time period. Note that the ADMIXTURE only had Iranian, EEF, WHG, EHG and Levant_N, no CHG. Where Iran N appears, it may be a stand-in for CHG. There is something quite puzzling in the list below, mislabeling in the slides? But that doesn't explain it either.

    UPPER PALEOLITHIC
    All WHG

    NEOLITHIC
    Mostly EEF, some WHG. Some Iran_N, quite a significant quantity, as much as WHG. PCA position Between Sardinia and Maltese, east of Sardinia, closer to Sardinia than to Maltese. Very homogeneous.

    BRONZE AGE (EARLY)
    Overlaps modern-day Sardinia, Iran_N percentage declines, WHG and EEF increases
    (Note that this represents a Europeanisation of the gene pool!) Very homogeneous.

    IRON AGE TO REPUBLICAN PERIOD (700-20BC)
    Note: Separated from previous period by 1000 year gap.
    Fewer samples, of those that exist 60% overlap with North Italy, 40% overlap with South Italy and Sicily, centroid of overall cluster in central Italy but no samples occur there, very wide spread.
    EHG appears, Levant N Appears for the first time, sporadic and inhomogeneous distribution, Iran_N increases further.

    IMPERIAL PERIOD
    Dense cluster centroid between Greeks, Cypriots, South Italians/Sicilians, and Syrians, closest to Sicilians. Long tail stretching from central cluster to Syrians and Iraqi Jews. Couple of Northern-shifted samples overlapping N Italy, France, Spain.
    Iran_N increases further, Levant N again sporadic and inhomogeneous.

    LATE ANTIQUITY
    Tight cluster centroid in S Italy, in the same place as in the previous period. Southern tail to Middle East disappears. N Italian, Northern European and NW European outliers exist.

    AFTER
    Resemble modern central Italians.

    Lactase persistence alleles appear abruptly after 0 AD.

    Heterozygosity reaches modern level after Iron Age.

    No information given on uniparentals.
    Isotope information not available yet, no way apart from archaeological context to tell between migrants and locals.

    Represents a preliminary effort, more work coming later."
    Last edited by parasar; 06-13-2019 at 08:04 PM.

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