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Thread: Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean

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    Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean

    Paper is out:
    Ancient Rome was the capital of an empire of ~70 million inhabitants, but little is known about the genetics of ancient Romans. Here we present 127 genomes from 29 archaeological sites in and around Rome, spanning the past 12,000 years. We observe two major prehistoric ancestry transitions: one with the introduction of farming and another prior to the Iron Age. By the founding of Rome, the genetic composition of the region approximated that of modern Mediterranean populations. During the Imperial period, Rome’s population received net immigration from the Near East, followed by an increase in genetic contributions from Europe. These ancestry shifts mirrored the geopolitical affiliations of Rome and were accompanied by marked interindividual diversity, reflecting gene flow from across the Mediterranean, Europe, and North Africa.
    Key quotes:
    Similar to early farmers from other parts of Europe, Neolithic individuals from central Italy project near Anatolian farmers in PCA (13, 14, 17–19) (Fig. 2A). However, ADMIXTURE reveals that, in addition to ancestry from northwestern Anatolia farmers, all of the Neolithic individuals that we studied carry a small amount of another component that is found at high levels in Neolithic Iranian farmers and Caucasus hunter-gatherers (CHG) (Fig. 2B and fig. S9). This contrasts with contemporaneous central European and Iberian populations who carry farmer ancestry predominantly from northwestern Anatolia (fig. S12). Furthermore, qpAdm modeling suggests that Neolithic Italian farmers can be modeled as a two-way mixture of ~5% local hunter-gatherer ancestry and ~95% ancestry of Neolithic farmers from central Anatolia or northern Greece (table S7), who also carry additional CHG (or Neolithic Iranian) ancestry (fig. S12) (14). These findings point to different or additional source populations involved in the Neolithic transition in Italy compared to central and western Europe.
    The Iron Age individuals exhibit highly variable ancestries, hinting at multiple sources of migration into the region during this period (Figs. 2A and 3B). Although we were able to model eight of the 11 individuals as two-way mixtures of Copper Age central Italians and a Steppe-related population (~24 to 38%) using qpAdm, this model was rejected for the other three individuals (p < 0.001; table S16). Instead, two individuals from Latin sites (R437 and R850) can be modeled as a mixture between local people and an ancient Near Eastern population (best approximated by Bronze Age Armenian or Iron Age Anatolian; tables S17 and S18). An Etruscan individual (R475) carries significant African ancestry identified by f-statistics (|Z-score|>3; fig. S23) and can be modeled with ~53% ancestry from Late Neolithic Moroccan (table S19). Together these results suggest substantial genetic heterogeneity within the Etruscan (n = 3 individuals) and Latin (n = 6) groups. However, using f-statistics, we did not find significant genetic differentiation between the Etruscans and Latins in allele sharing with any preceding or contemporaneous population (|Z-score|<2), although the power to detect subtle genetic differentiation is limited by the small sample size.
    Last edited by traject; 11-07-2019 at 07:16 PM.
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    Cant find the Supplementary Data. Help

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    Very interesting, nearly 130 samples spanning different archeological sites, that's huge !

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    There is also a data visualizer tool that was provided by the authors here:
    https://dcalderon.shinyapps.io/shiny_rome/

    EDIT: Like a timeline provided:
    Annotation 2019-11-07 145711.png or customizable PCAs.
    Last edited by traject; 11-07-2019 at 07:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by traject View Post

    EDIT: Like a timeline provided:
    Annotation 2019-11-07 145711.png or customizable PCAs.
    I wonder why Iran/CHG admixture is so high during the imperial period while Levant_N/Maroco_N is so low?
    The empire should have included much of North Africa and Levant back then.

    Also how did Iran/CHG then reduce to the comparatively low levels of today? Was this a dilution process from elite Romans into the rural Italian populations that resulted to the levels of today via homogenization? Or was Iran/CHG on the evolutionary loosing side here?

    Steppe admixture appeared sometime between 3500-500 B.C via Bell Bakers (Celts?), reduced during the Roman era and increased again during the Germanic/barbaric invasions and the fall of the empire.

    What can be concluded is that migrants of Roman period were likely primary from Greek and Anatolian sources, people of related culture and language. Maybe even low Lenvant_N Phoenicans/Carthagians can be included in that package.
    Hence I contest that "cosmopolitan" nature of Rome concept, for that Levant_N levels would be higher (at least by post imperial period).

    Latins that need additional Iran/CHG admixture beside Steppe, while Etruscans are ok with two way EEF-Steppe, is another interesting detail to distinguish non-IE Etruscans and IE Latins. It also has implications of the Bell Beaker-IE issue, like the Basque/Iberians before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojet View Post
    Cant find the Supplementary Data. Help
    " The other two Iron Age males, R474 and R850, belong to J-M12 (J2b) and T-L208 (T1a1a) haplogroups respectively. As discussed above, the J haplogroup and its J2a subclade have already been present in early farmers in Italy, the Balkans, and Anatolia (13, 14).

    In addition, a Bronze Age individual from Croatia (1631-1521 calBCE) belonged to the J2b2a haplogroup (14) and carried exactly the M314 derived allele that is also found in R474. Therefore,the observed J-M12 (J2b) could be a surviving lineage from local Neolithic populations or due to recent migrations from the Balkans or the Near East. "
    Last edited by Johane Derite; 11-07-2019 at 08:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johane Derite View Post
    " The other two Iron Age males, R474 and R850, belong to J-M12 (J2b) and T-L208 (T1a1a) haplogroups respectively. As discussed above, the J haplogroup and its J2a subclade have already been present in early farmers in Italy, the Balkans, and Anatolia (13, 14).

    In addition, a Bronze Age individual from Croatia (1631-1521 calBCE) belonged to the J2b2a haplogroup (14) and carried exactly the M314 derived allele that is also found in R474. Therefore,the observed J-M12 (J2b) could be a surviving lineage from local Neolithic populations or due to recent migrations from the Balkans or the Near East. "
    J2b samples found:
    1) R474, Civitavecchia, Etruscan, 700-600BCE (Iron Age/Roman Republic) - J-M12+
    2) R116, Via Paisiello, 0-200CE (Imperial Age) - J-Z631+
    3) R1283, Cancelleria, 771-947CE (Medieval/Early Modern) - J-M12+
    4) R54, Villa Magna, 1280-1430CE(Late Medieval) - J-Z1296+
    Ydna: J1>P58>YSC234>ZS241>BY32817 (Y179831)

    Maternal Ydna: E-V13>CTS1273*

    Mtdna: T1a1l

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    delete (solved)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelmendasi View Post
    2) R116, Via Paisiello, 0-200CE (Imperial Age) - J-Z631+
    Where do you see that this sample is J-Z631+ ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojet View Post
    Where do you see that this sample is J-Z631+ ?
    It is labelled as such on the Excel spreadsheet. You should be able to access it here https://science.sciencemag.org/conte...b-figures-data.
    Ydna: J1>P58>YSC234>ZS241>BY32817 (Y179831)

    Maternal Ydna: E-V13>CTS1273*

    Mtdna: T1a1l

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