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Thread: The Sorbs of East Germany

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    The Sorbs of East Germany

    It is an older study but nonetheless an interesting one. They cluster with other Slavs. It would be interesting to see the Gedmatch results of a Sorb. Has anyone here seen them?

    Population isolates have long been of interest to genetic epidemiologists because of their potential to increase power to detect disease-causing genetic variants. The Sorbs of Germany are considered as cultural and linguistic isolates and have recently been the focus of disease association mapping efforts. They are thought to have settled in their present location in eastern Germany after a westward migration from a largely Slavic-speaking territory during the Middle Ages. To examine Sorbian genetic diversity within the context of other European populations, we analyzed genotype data for over 30 000 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms from over 200 Sorbs individuals. We compare the Sorbs with other European individuals, including samples from population isolates. Despite their geographical proximity to German speakers, the Sorbs showed greatest genetic similarity to Polish and Czech individuals, consistent with the linguistic proximity of Sorbian to other West Slavic languages. The Sorbs also showed evidence of subtle levels of genetic isolation in comparison with samples from non-isolated European populations. The level of genetic isolation was less than that observed for the Sardinians and French Basque, who were clear outliers on multiple measures of isolation. The finding of the Sorbs as only a minor genetic isolate demonstrates the need to genetically characterize putative population isolates, as they possess a wide range of levels of isolation because of their different demographic histories. European Journal of Human Genetics (2011)
    http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v...jhg201165a.pdf

    SB in the maps below:
    Last edited by Piquerobi; 09-29-2016 at 12:42 AM.

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    There is Sorb sample from MDLP k23b( i took it randomly, but most of the MDLP calcs have Sorb sample)

    I've cut out all values below 2%, since they are too noisy.




    As you can see Sorbs do deviate towards East-German compared to Poles, but by far closer to Poles.

    If it's the ancient mixture that happened befor the the German conquest, or result of centuries of living among the Germans i can't tell. Probably both.


    But fact is that Sorbs did remained pretty pure and cluster firmly in Slavic cluster, albeit deviate towards the West noticebly.

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    In my opinion, the most interesting is how they cluster firmly with other Slavic speaking groups as opposed to their German speaking neighbours. It also shows how important Slavic migrations may have been in shaping the modern Eastern Europe.

    They are like one of the Westernmost Slavic tribes, they entered what is now Germany a very long time ago (the Obotrites are another example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obotrites ):

    Sorbs arrived in the area extending between the Bober, Kwisa, and Oder rivers to the East and the Saale and Elbe rivers to the West during the 6th century. In the north, the area of their settlement reached Berlin. The earliest surviving mention of the tribe was in 631 A.D., when Fredegar's Chronicle described them as Surbi and as under the rule of a Dervan, an ally of Samo. The Annales Regni Francorum state that in 806 A.D. Sorbian Duke Miliduch fought against the Franks and was killed. In 840, Sorbian Duke Czimislav was killed. In 932, Henry I conquered Lusatia and Milsko. Gero II, Margrave of the Saxon Ostmark, reconquered Lusatia the following year and, in 939, murdered 30 Sorbian princes during a feast. As a result, there were many Sorbian uprisings against German rule. A reconstructed castle, at Raddusch in Lower Lusatia, is the sole physical remnant from this early period.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbs#Early_Middle_Ages

    7th century
    Dervan's province.
    The oldest mention of the Surbi is from the Frankish 7th-century Chronicle of Fredegar, in which they are mentioned as a Slavic tribe under the leadership of dux (duke) Dervan ("Dervanus dux gente Surbiorum que ex genere Sclavinorum"), which joined the Slavic tribal union of Samo (known in historiography as "Samo's Empire"). The Surbi lived in the Saale-Elbe valley, having settled in the Thuringian part of Francia. The Saale-Elbe line marked the approximate limit of Slavic westward migration. The Surbi and other Slavic tribes joined Samo after his decisive victory against Frankish King Dagobert I in 631. Afterwards, these Slavic tribes continuously raided Thuringia. The fate of the tribes after 658 is undetermined, though they subsequently returned to Frankish vassalage.

    8th century
    In 782, the Sorbs, inhabiting the region between the Elbe and Saale, plundered Thuringia and Saxony. Charlemagne sent Adalgis, Worad and Geilo into Saxony, aimed at attacking the Sorbs, however, they met with rebel Saxons who destroyed them.

    In 789, Charlemagne launched a campaign against the Wiltzi; after reaching the Elbe, he went further and successfully "subjected the Slavs". His army also included the Slavic Sorbs and Obotrites, under Witzan. The army reached Dragovit, who surrendered, followed by other Slavic magnates and chieftains who submitted to Charlemagne.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbs_(tribe)
    Last edited by Piquerobi; 09-29-2016 at 01:54 PM.

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    Related to this topic is a post I made in another thread a few months back:

    According to "Genetic Geritage of the Balto-Slavic Speaking Populations: A Synthesis of Autosomal, Mitochondrial and Y-Chromosomal Data - published September 2, 2015 companies should probably have grouped things as:
    --------------------------
    1. Eastern European:
    based upon three sub categories
    West Slavic - Polish, Sorbs, Czechs, Slovakians
    East Slavic - Belorussians, Ukrainians, North Russians, Central Russians, Southern Russians (with apparently Belorussians, Ukrainians and South Russians the closest matching and Ukrainians and South Russians the closest of the closest in this group and with some North Russians sometimes beginning to become a bit more Finnic)
    Baltic - Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians (although the Estonians have a merge into Finland and much closer ties to Finland than the two Baltic speaking Baltic countries they do still have an overall considerably closer autosomal tie to to the Baltic speaking Baltic countries than to Finland)
    -------------------------
    2. Balkan (made up of South Slavic and a few non-Slavic speakers who are autosomally fully related to the South Slavic speakers- see a few posts back for explanation):
    Slovenians, Croatians, Bosnians, Bulgarians, Montenegrians, Serbians, Hungarians, Romanians and probably Macedonians
    -------------------
    And Albanians and Greeks into a not sure what to call it Greek? Greek/Greek Balkan? Greek/Albanian? Southern Balkan? group of their own that apparently would be as from the South Slavic Group as the Broadly Northwestern European group is from the Eastern European group above and that they are farther from the South Slavic Group than the South Slavic Group is from the Eastern European Group.


    However 23 apparently does:
    Eastern European (Belarusians, Czechs, Hungarians, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Slovene, Ukrainian)

    Balkan (Albanian, Bosnian and Herzegovinian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, Maltese, Montenegrin, Romanian, Serbian)

    This would appear to be contrary to the study above where they say that the South Slavic/non-far southern Balkan countries have a closer genetic match to each other than to West/East/North Slavic or Baltic groups and much closer than to Albanians and Greeks. It says that while some divides are a soft gradient (such as Czechs with directly over the border Germans) that others are much harder walls (such as Polish people with just over the border Germans or Polish groups within Germany such as Sorbs with their surrounding Germans or such as between South Slavic people with Macedonians and Greeks).

    So why are Slovenians and Hungarians mixed into their Eastern European (Baltic plus West/East/North Slavic) group and why are Albanians and Greeks put into the same Balkan category as many in the South Slavic group?

    Maybe this is why it is unstable at times between Eastern European and Balkan and between South Slavic Balkan and Greek Balkan and doesn't always work so well.

    And then we have DNA.LAND which bases it's Balkan group on Albanians, Greeks and Bulgarians. Why are Bulgarians in there if their Balkan group is really South Balkan/Greek? Anyway it also shows that their Balkan group is a decent bit different than that of 23. But it would seem both would be made a bit more unstable than they need to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roaring View Post
    There is Sorb sample from MDLP k23b( i took it randomly, but most of the MDLP calcs have Sorb sample)

    I've cut out all values below 2%, since they are too noisy.




    As you can see Sorbs do deviate towards East-German compared to Poles, but by far closer to Poles.

    If it's the ancient mixture that happened befor the the German conquest, or result of centuries of living among the Germans i can't tell. Probably both.

    But fact is that Sorbs did remained pretty pure and cluster firmly in Slavic cluster, albeit deviate towards the West noticebly.
    From which region of Poland is that Polish sample you used ???

    I am Western Polish (native to Wielkopolska region) and this is my result in MDLP K23b:

    European_Hunters_Gatherers 47.38
    Caucasian 29.21
    European_Early_Farmers 13.47
    Ancestral_Altaic 4.28
    South_Central_Asian 2.98
    Near_East 1.23

    The rest are values below 1%.

    ========================

    South-Western Polish (Upper Silesia):

    European_Hunters_Gatherers 48.61
    Caucasian 27.23
    European_Early_Farmers 13.91
    South_Central_Asian 3.87
    Ancestral_Altaic 2.91

    And Northern Polish (Kashubian):

    European_Hunters_Gatherers 50
    Caucasian 26.58
    European_Early_Farmers 13.97
    South_Central_Asian 4.77
    Ancestral_Altaic 2.49

    Central Polish (mostly Małopolska region):

    European_Hunters_Gatherers 52.57
    Caucasian 28.1
    European_Early_Farmers 11.09
    South_Central_Asian 2.25
    North_African 2.11
    Ancestral_Altaic 1.91

    Ethnic Pole from Wileńszczyzna:

    European_Hunters_Gatherers 60.88
    Caucasian 31.18
    Near_East 2.59
    European_Early_Farmers 2.45
    5Austronesian 1.9
    Last edited by Tomenable; 11-06-2016 at 12:05 PM.

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    So that Sorbian sample actually clusters with Central Poles, rather than with Western Poles.

    And your Polish sample is probably from Mazovia (most likely from North-Eastern Mazovia).

    ===========

    BTW, I can also give you an example of a recently German-admixed Pole.

    But I don't know what is his GEDmatch kit, so I must ask him what are his results in MLDP K23b.

    He will cluster even to the west of Wielkopolska/Silesia/Kashubia samples.

    The results I gave you are not German-admixed (for example 15 out of my 16 great-great grandparents had clearly Slavic surnames). By German-admixed I mean 3 "fresh German" great-great grandparents.

    By "fresh German" I mean German immigrants, rather than people of Germanized Slavic ancestry.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 11-06-2016 at 12:50 PM.

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    As for East Germans - based on Y-DNA frequencies:

    http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...l=1#post184322

    I suppose that South-East Germans (from Southern Brandenburg, Southern Sachsen-Anhalt, Eastern Thuringen and Sachsen) are autosomally closer to Sorbs and Slavs in general; whereas North-East Germans (from Schleswig, Northern Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Pommern) are more like your sample.

    I guess that your "German_East" sample was from Schleswig-Mecklenburg-Vorpommern area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piquerobi View Post
    In my opinion, the most interesting is how they cluster firmly with other Slavic speaking groups as opposed to their German speaking neighbours.
    Did someone actually test their immediate neighbours, though?

    Because Y-DNA frequencies (see the link to my thread above) hint that immediate neighbourhood of Sorbs is actually not so different from Sorbs.

    German-speakers from Lusatia or from places such as Chemnitz, Dessau or Brandenburg an der Havel should IMO cluster closer to Sorbs. But if you go north to Mecklenburg, or south to North-Eastern Bavaria, then samples from these areas will not be similar to Sorbs.

    Berlin is a large city with people from all over Germany, so there you shouldn't even expect any similarity.

    I'm talking about samples from immediate German-speaking rural / small town neighbourhood of Sorbs.

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    Mixed with deep Lesser Polish roots on paternal side and Balto-Masovian on maternal side...

    Admix Results (sorted):

    # Population Percent
    1 European_Hunters_Gatherers 52.57
    2 Caucasian 28.1
    3 European_Early_Farmers 11.09
    4 South_Central_Asian 2.25
    5 North_African 2.11
    6 Ancestral_Altaic 1.91
    7 Melano_Polynesian 0.62
    8 Near_East 0.35
    9 Archaic_Human 0.3
    10 Paleo_Siberian 0.26
    11 Tungus-Altaic 0.24
    12 Amerindian 0.19

    Single Population Sharing:

    # Population (source) Distance
    1 Sorb ( ) 2.01
    2 Kashub ( ) 2.93
    3 Ukrainian_West ( ) 2.93
    4 Slovak ( ) 3.74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piquerobi View Post
    They are like one of the Westernmost Slavic tribes, they entered what is now Germany a very long time ago (the Obotrites are another example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obotrites )
    The Obotrites were not necessarily genetically the same as Sorbs.

    They could be different (why I think so? - because Sorbian language belongs to another branch of West Slavic languages than Obotrite language - which got extinct in the 18th century). But if they were similar to Sorbs, then probably Obotrite ancestry is not the main ancestry of modern North-East Germans.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 11-06-2016 at 01:27 PM.

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