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Thread: Who are North Africans descended from?

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    Who are North Africans descended from?

    By this I do not mean how much Berber or Arab they are. I mean, is the base population of North African Berbers descended from an ancient migration from the Levant? Arabia? Iberia?

    Is their base also Natufian-like, shared with Levantines and Arabians?

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    A good answer to this question would be better left to ideally a North African member here or some9ne pretty savy on ancient history accross North Africa. Simple guesstimate from me is that their genetic results seem to suggest there appears to be migrations from the neolithic levant and possibly chalcolithic iberians. Populations will nil steppe or chg, but excess levels of natufian and early European farmer/neolithic anatolian. I would be surprised and amazed if there are today trace levels of whg in North Africans but I wouldn't completely discount that possibility. Strangely an analysis of gulf Arabs can show 1 percent whg. Not sure how real that is.

    Unrelated to the questions asked, but North Africans otherwise amazingly show a level of continuity from iberomarusians from 10s of thousands of years ago. Perhaps up to a third of their dna appears to come from them. Iberomarusians themselves cannot be modelled too well yet, but you can get better fits modelling them as a hybrid of natufians and African populations. It's still a poor fit. I forget whether the African population was Eastern or Western.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass View Post
    A good answer to this question would be better left to ideally a North African member here or some9ne pretty savy on ancient history accross North Africa. Simple guesstimate from me is that their genetic results seem to suggest there appears to be migrations from the neolithic levant and possibly chalcolithic iberians. Populations will nil steppe or chg, but excess levels of natufian and early European farmer/neolithic anatolian. I would be surprised and amazed if there are today trace levels of whg in North Africans but I wouldn't completely discount that possibility. Strangely an analysis of gulf Arabs can show 1 percent whg. Not sure how real that is.

    Unrelated to the questions asked, but North Africans otherwise amazingly show a level of continuity from iberomarusians from 10s of thousands of years ago. Perhaps up to a third of their dna appears to come from them. Iberomarusians themselves cannot be modelled too well yet, but you can get better fits modelling them as a hybrid of natufians and African populations. It's still a poor fit. I forget whether the African population was Eastern or Western.

    What I notice is today's North Africans show significant distance from today's Levantines, likely because Levantines have significant CHG that did not make it to North Africa... North Africans may descend from an older Levantine type population higher in Natufian. North Africans are closer to Bedouins and Arabian peoples in general than they are to Levantines.

    The closest non-Maghrebis to them tend to be Egyptians, West Sicilians, Maltese, and Western Jews. But I definitely see significant evidence of Iberian ancestry in North Africa, whether ancient or recent.

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    Basic genetic background (autosomal) would be a mix of Iberomaurusian, Natufian and Iberian Neolithic, with some recent SSA (it seems most of SSA admixture happened during and after Roman Empire).

    Despite cultural differences, Arabs and Berbers (including Kabyles) are pretty much the same. The explanation would be that Arabs in NA are Berbers which adopted Arab language and culture.

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    Here are some Global 25 results i had posted a few months ago:

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    Y Dna: E-M81-->CTS12227-->BY8900 : The oldest M81 known are Guanches 2000 BP
    MtDna: I3a1 : The oldest I3a1 known is VK164, Viking from Oxford, UK, 880-1000 CE.


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    It is surprising that despite the high Anatolian Neolithic ancestry in the Maghreb their Y is more or less similar to the Iberomaurusian and Natufians (E-M35).

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    By "North Africans", you mean Berbers/Maghrebis. Egyptians are North Africans too but are their own thing.

    At this point, I'd say we know more or less the general picture: mostly descended from the same West Eurasian Paleolithic populations as Middle Easterners and South Europeans (Dzudzuana-like) + some African/non-OoA of various origins (but mostly from Iberomaurusians)+ sprinkles of WHG-related and North Eurasian.
    The relationship between North Africa and West Asia before the Neolithic might be more complex than that though. And Iberomaurusians are still somewhat of a mystery.
    Overall, Berbers/Maghrebis are at the very periphery of modern West Eurasian landscape because of higher African ancestry than other West Eurasians and to a lesser extent because of lower "Eastern" influences that characterizes most modern West Eurasians (ANE-related stuff, WHG, East Eurasian.. ).
    Also at one extreme periphery of Africa (with Egyptians), but that's already obvious.

    I think we're still lacking some crucial ancient DNA samples to model decently North Africans, especially from Mesolithic, Neolithic (and later) Egyptians/North Sudan. This is especially important since Berbers speak a branch of Afro-Asiatic language, most closely related to Semitic and then Cushitic.
    At this point, we already have Natufians, Neolithic Levantines and Kenyan/Tanzanian Neolithic Pastoralists to give us a hint at what the Neolithic Egypto-Nubian population was like (somewhere on that cline).
    This is particularly important for eastern Berbers /Maghrebis, who independently of any Arabian/Near Eastern ancestry, have a higher affinity to Natufians/Neolithic Levantines and are more Egyptian-like than Western Maghrebis are.
    We're also lacking ancient DNA from the Sahara, especially during Green Sahara phases, as bidirectional geneflow seems to have taken place (SSA-like ancestry in the North, Eurasian ancestry in West-Central Africa). Kiffians and Tenerians for instance come in mind.

    Based on modern Maghrebis, I'd say there are 2 main clines:
    - one going from South Morocco/West Sahara (highest Iberomaurusian, >40%) to all the rest of the Maghreb, the lowest being around 18-20% in the East (Libya/Tunisia). Ancient Guanches people are on this cline, cluster with Central Moroccans to Northern Moroccans
    - one Egyptian-like cline, from East to West, although seem to be particularly stronger in the peri-Saharan regions, maybe related to the recent spread and domination of "Zenati"/Eastern-Central Berber languages from a possible Libyan ultimate source (as well as Arabized Zenata during the Arab expansions) .

    One peculiar thing is the North Moroccan and Southern Tunisian Chenini samples are very close to each other, the latter being slightly eastern-shifted. This could mean the "coastal" region was similar to them until the intrusion of the more Egyptian-like heavy signal from Libya>northernmost Sahara> Aurès mountains in the last 2000 years, with limited impact on the high density populations of the coastal region (North Moroccan Riffians for instance, so linguistic zenatization mostly) and higher impact on lower density and more mobile peri-Saharan and semi-arid steppes.
    This could mean Kabyle-related languages were spoken on the coastal region before Zenatization and Arabization.
    Could also support a link between Kabyle and the "Western block" (Atlas Tamazight, Tashelhit from the Souss), albeit quite distantly in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by NetNomad View Post
    It is surprising that despite the high Anatolian Neolithic ancestry in the Maghreb their Y is more or less similar to the Iberomaurusian and Natufians (E-M35).
    If you add the Iberomaurusian + the Natufian-like, it's still 40 to 50 % of the total ancestry that is related to high E-M35 carrying populations.
    That being said, it's seems clear E-M183 in Maghrebis is the product of a "recent" bottleneck, which probably erased previous diversity more clearly related to the Anatolian Neolithic expansion (among others).
    Last edited by Ignis90; 10-29-2019 at 01:04 PM.
    Paternal Y-DNA haplogroup: E-M35>E-Z827>L19>M81>M183
    Maternal [grandfather] Y-DNA: E-M35>E-Z827>L19>M81>M183>PF2477>PF2546
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    Quote Originally Posted by E_M81_I3A View Post
    Here are some Global 25 results i had posted a few months ago:

    Scaled:
    How do you explain the Barcin_N strong variations amongst all these populations? the gap between Berber_Morocco and Berber_Tunisia is puzzling
    Eurogenes G25: 47% DEU_Halberstadt_LBA+36% ITL_Proto-Villanovan+17% GRC_Mycenaean

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    There's this work which indicates that ancient (15,000 YBP) North Africans derive 2/3 of their ancestry from a Natufian-related population that also contributed to West Eurasians and 1/3 from an African population that isn't closely related to any living group. There's also some sort of genetic continuity between these samples and present-day North Africans, especially those from Morocco (Mozabites):

    https://indo-european.eu/wp-content/...-admixture.jpg

    " Because f4 statistics are linear under admixture, we expect the Taforalt population not to be any closer to these outgroups than Yoruba or Natufians if the two-way admixture model is correct. However, we find instead that the Taforalt group is significantly closer to both outgroups (aSouthAfrica and Mbuti) than any combination of Yoruba and Natufians (z ≥ 2.728 SE; Fig. 4). A similar pattern is observed for the East African outgroups Dinka, Mota, and Hadza (table S11 and fig. S20). These results can only be explained by Taforalt harboring an ancestry that contains additional affinity with South, East, and Central African outgroups. None of the present-day or ancient Holocene African groups serve as a good proxy for this unknown ancestry, because adding them as the third source is still insufficient to match the model to the Taforalt gene pool (table S12 and fig. S21)."

    Curiosly, Pleistocene North Africans from Taforalt are unrelated to Mesolithic Europeans (let's not forget that some mtDNA haplogroups with Mesolithic/Late Pleistocene coalescence times like H and U6 are found on both sides of the Mediterranean). I hope we hear more from North African population history within the next months/years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camulogène Rix View Post
    How do you explain the Barcin_N strong variations amongst all these populations? the gap between Berber_Morocco and Berber_Tunisia is puzzling

    If we look at the Y-dna published in previous studies, Berbers Sened from Tunisia have about 31% of J1 while for example Berbers Chenini have 0% J1. So Sened are clearly more Levantine/Arab than other groups (even if they speak a berber language)...
    Last edited by E_M81_I3A; 10-29-2019 at 04:44 PM.
    G25 scaled:Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content
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    Y Dna: E-M81-->CTS12227-->BY8900 : The oldest M81 known are Guanches 2000 BP
    MtDna: I3a1 : The oldest I3a1 known is VK164, Viking from Oxford, UK, 880-1000 CE.


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