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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

    The Roman-era samples near the city of Rome in the article "Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean" are pretty interesting. Many of the Roman samples come out as very MENA-shifted, far closer to modern-day MENA populations than even Sicilians or Maltese, indicating that they were probably of foreign origin, like many Romans. Below is the Eurogenes K15 plot of the R38, R67, and R68 samples, which came up as MyTrueAncestry matches for me (I know that MTA is nonsense, it's just how I learned about these samples' existence). I have 23andme files for each and I want to know if it is possible to make good inferences about their ethnicities based on the plot or some other genetic tool I can do with the 23andMe file.

    Here is the plot:

    Here is some background from the article's supplement about each sample:

    R38: "Isola Sacra necropolis
    Date Range: 1 CE - 400 CE
    Individuals: R42, R39, R37, R38, R40, R41, R43, R44, R45
    The Imperial port town of Portus Romae is located approximately 23 km southwest of Rome, and was a
    key trading center for the city during the Roman Empire. Portus was the port of Rome, and the uninhibited
    flow of goods into the metropolis, first and foremost grain, but also other vital foodstuffs, was the highest
    priority of the imperial government. The prosperity of Portus was tied up with that of the imperial city. The
    inhabitants of Portus were buried in the necropolis of Isola Sacra, which extends approximately 1.5 km
    along the road between Ostia and Portus Romae, and was in use from the 2nd to the late 3rd-early 4th
    centuries CE. People buried in the Isola Sacra were engaged in commerce and business, frequently
    themselves descended from slaves. The population, those sections of it that are 'visible', was, or appears,
    relatively egalitarian, in comparison with other Italian towns. There is a missing 'tranche' in the social
    hierarchy, at the top, where one would expect to locate an aristocracy of office and social prestige (33).
    Over 2000 individuals have been recovered to-date from the necropolis and are currently stored at the
    Museo delle Civiltà in Rome. The bioarchaeology of the odontoskeletal collection of Isola Sacra was
    intensely investigated and a number of contributions has been published, exploring demography (139, 140),
    diet (34, 95, 141, 142), occupational markers (143), stress of the infant segment (144–146), and
    paleopathology (19, 147–149)."

    R67 & R68: "ANAS (Azienda Nazionale Autonoma delle Strada)
    Date range: 100 - 300 CE
    Individuals: R66, R67, R68, R69, R70, R71, R72, R73
    The ANAS necropolis is situated in a southern suburb of Rome and was uncovered during road building
    (by the Azienda Nazionale Autonoma delle Strada, ANAS) in the area of the present day Acilia (Rome).
    The necropolis consists of 8 individuals, mostly adults, and is dated to the II-III century CE. The graveyard
    was associated with a small rural center of farmers and possibly with a nearby villa. Paleodietary analysis
    of the inhumated has been previously studied (95). The human osteological material is currently stored at
    the Museo delle Civiltà in Rome."

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