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Thread: Breaking down E-M34: E-L791, E-M84, Proto-Semites, and Bonapartes

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    Breaking down E-M34: E-L791, E-M84, Proto-Semites, and Bonapartes

    In a few recent threads, it's come up that E-M34, an ancient lineage (TMRCA of 15.1 kya) with a curious distribution, hasn't gotten the scrutiny it deserves. In fact, to this day, 23andMe reports my E-M34 (xM84) as E-M34*, despite the fact that my I, J, and R friends can expect coverage at the resolution of historical-era markers.

    E-M34 doesn't come close to predominating anywhere, but is most prominent in the Southern Levant, Cyprus, Ethiopia, and the Jewish Diaspora, with significant appearances in Kurdistan, the South Caucasus, Arabia, Iberia, Italy, Egypt, and the Maghreb.

    M34's direct ancestor, E-Z830 (which unites it with a major East African/Cushitic lineage), was found this past year in Natufian samples from northern Israel, but IIRC, E-M34's earliest attestation in the record is in a PPNB individual from 'Ain Ghazal in Jordan. A bit earlier, one of its major subclades, E-M84, was identified in Iron Age individuals from Armenia. A Levantine origin seems probable.

    A few years ago, it was pretty common to see people identifying E-M34 (usually in combination with J-P58) as a marker of the proto-Semites, but it's become obvious from the distribution that the truth is hairier. E-M34 has left a trail all areas of the Mediterranean, East Africa, and highland West Asia where it's unlikely that Semitic languages were ever spoken.

    Naturally, this year's aDNA findings seemed to confirm some link between early Semitic-speaking populations and E-M34, but the chronology and direction of flow is totally unclear. Does Natufian E-Z830 (which, to remind folks, is *not* M34, and is probably not directly ancestral to it, in this particular case) suggest a Levantine in situ origin for Afroasiatic? That would be wild. But it's clear that Semitic isn't nearly that old. What can the current state of aDNA tell us about the moment of Semitic's appearance in the Levant, its source, and the material culture associated with it?

    Another angle that hasn't been explored at all, and on which we probably have as much data as we need: subclades. Remember, E-M34 is Epipaleolithic, which puts the divergence time of its major subclades (E-L791 and E-M84) around the glottochronologically-estimated dawn of Proto-Semitic in the Chalcolithic or Early Bronze. It's hard to imagine there isn't an informative pattern. I haven't seen anyone write about it, though.

    Thanks to some dedicated people, the phylogeny of E-L791 (my own lineage) appears to be pretty well-documented, consisting mainly of an "Atlantic Branch", Y2947, and a larger "Levantine Branch", Y4971. Examples of the former are attested among English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Greek individuals; the latter mainly comprises Gulf Arabs, Ashkenazi Jews, Greek Jews, and Armenians, with a few Western Europeans scattered throughout, including clan Bonaparte.

    Meanwhile, I know that E-M84 is attested among Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews, Palestinians, Kurds, Cypriots, Italians, and other Europeans. I really know nothing about its internal phylogeny, so I'm curious to hear more from our resident E-M84 expert.

    Where, and among whom, did the 2 branches part ways? Where do the Ethiopians fit in? And what's the deal with E-L791's Gulf-Ashkenazi connection? Are there Palestinians, Egyptians, Syrians, and Mesopotamians in L791 to bridge the gap, thus far untested?

    Hope to spark a good conversation. I'm biased, but I'm deeply curious about Afroasiatic and Semitic origins, and suspect that E-M34's early descendants are an important part of the story.

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    FYI, among a fairly large sample of my own people:

    E-L791>Y6923 - 5.6%
    E-M84>Y14891 - 4%
    E-M84>Z21429 - 0.7%
    ---------------------------
    E-Z830 - 3.2%
    Last edited by wandering_amorite; 01-03-2017 at 02:19 AM.

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    Since AA is my field of expertise, I'll make a few things clear: What we know about PAA at this point suggests that the earliest AA speakers were foragers who engaged in grain collection, while the homeland issue isn't "solved" yet an African origin remains more likely than a West Asian one for a number of linguistic reasons. The Levant is the most convincing location in West Asia for the PAA homeland, because it is close to Africa among other things, if valid the best cultural correlate would not be Natufian but Mushabian. The E-Z830 Natufians might well have spoken an early AA dialect or para-AA dialect, but that's just a possibility at this point. If I'm not mistaken, E-M34 has yet to be found in ancient results from the Levant, the fact that none of the Natufian samples were E-M34 is important IMO. I would expect E-M34 to make its earliest appearance in Harifian samples, these people are likely to have spoken pre-Proto-Semitic.

    Both E-M34 and J1-P58 are too old to be labeled "Semitic" or "Proto-Semitic", what we ought to look for are branches with TMRCA estimates going back to the first half of the 4th millenium BCE which experienced a sudden "explosion" and diversification of lineages around the end of the 4th millenium and the first half of the 3rd millenium BCE, in turn the branches produced by this sudden "explosion" ought to be found chiefly among Semitic speakers. There's only one lineage we know of which ticks all the boxes, namely J1-YSC234 (TMRCA ~5800 yBP, 3 major branches with TMRCAs going back to the late 4th and early 3rd millennia BCE leading to a plethora of branches, almost uniquely found among Semitic speakers, correlates with the Semitic language tree to some extent, spread likely followed a north-to-south pattern) however I think we will ultimately find several lineages under E-M34 which correlate even more closely with the spread of Semitic-speaking groups, E-L791 is one of the best contenders so far judging from what I've seen.


    Unfortunately, E-M35 suffers from a certain lack of attention I find difficult to explain (I can think of several reasons, but they fail to provide a satisfactory explanation), so we are not seeing this yet, just compare E-L791's and J1-YSC234's trees on YFull and keep in mind both markers have roughly the same TMRCA estimates and that they are bound to be just as diverse... And yet, there's an enormous difference between both trees (also keep in mind that YSC234's tree is incomplete, it's actually far more diverse than this). E-L791 reminds me of J1-L862, formerly known as L147, back when the amount of detail on J1-P58 phylogeny resembled that of E-L791 today, I am not talking in terms of TMRCA estimates but in terms of distribution and frequency.

    As far as the results from the Gulf are of concern, this is also a recurring issue with J1-YSC234, this is probably due to sampling bias.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 01-02-2017 at 04:15 AM.
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
    יחזקאל פרק טז ג-


    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/y-snp-calls-for-i1415/ < not confirmed E-M34 by Lazaridis et al, but claimed as such by Genetiker.

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    We will need samples from West Asia and Africa to learn more about the early history of M34, we are still lacking samples from Africa. As you say, M34 dates to 15 kya, when migrations may have occurred between the Levant and the Nile Valley. Interestingly, M123(xM34) is found today in the north and south of Egypt. When we finally get samples from Mesolithic Egypt, and the Levant (adding Mushabian and Kebaran to the Natufian samples we have), we could hopefully unravel the history of this lineage.

    Quote Originally Posted by wandering_amorite View Post
    Where do the Ethiopians fit in?
    From 23andMe at least, the Amharas I have seen with M34 belong to M84. Interestingly, M34 is rare in the north of the Horn (Eritrea/Tigray), and the single confirmed Eritrean with M34 belongs to M290, which is very rare and has only been reported in 1 Palestinian as far as I know. M290 was also found in an adoptee with Eritrean relatives.

    The M34 lineages found in southern Ethiopian Omotic speakers, the frequency peak, are still unresolved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wandering_amorite View Post
    https://genetiker.wordpress.com/y-snp-calls-for-i1415/ < not confirmed E-M34 by Lazaridis et al, but claimed as such by Genetiker.
    What I find interesting is that this sample (I1415) is roughly contemporary, if not slightly more recent than the time frame normally ascribed to the Harifian culture. There's a good chance we'll find E-M34 in Harifian remains judging from the above.
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
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    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
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    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Quote Originally Posted by wandering_amorite View Post
    FYI, among a fairly large sample of my own people:

    E-L791>Y6923 - 5.6%
    E-M84>Y14981 - 4%
    E-M84>Z21429 - 0.7%
    ---------------------------
    E-Z830 - 3.2%
    i think i belong to E-M84>Y14981
    because efgen from e3b haplozone
    use to classified me as m84-b that was only based on 12 markers ......... ???
    but this an aschenazi clade
    and my direct paternal line is syrian jewish from damascus so what is the conection ????????
    my paternal line was seperated from aschenazi m-34 at least 1900 ybp since the beginning of the diaspora......

    regards
    adam

    p.s
    i think only yfull could explain this but it is bloody expensive....
    Last edited by kingjohn; 01-02-2017 at 07:30 PM.

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    If I'm not mistaken, Palestinians and non-Ashkenazi Jews have been found slightly upstream of this clade - so your Shami Jewish ancestor's position in the bigger picture isn't surprising.

    If anything, Ashkenazi M84 is the easier lineage to place in context — Y6923, while probably Levantine in origin, has very few close parallels among non-Ashkenazi Jews or Palestinians (w/the putative exception of Romaniotes, which leads the Y6923 project admin on FTDNA to believe that our early medieval father (one of the most virile Ashkenazi forbears ) came to Central Europe from Greece).
    Last edited by wandering_amorite; 01-03-2017 at 02:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjohn View Post
    i think i belong to E-M84>Y14981
    because efgen from e3b haplozone
    use to classified me as m84-b that was only based on 12 markers ......... ???
    but this an aschenazi clade
    and my direct paternal line is syrian jewish from damascus so what is the conection ????????
    my paternal line was seperated from aschenazi m-34 at least 1900 ybp since the beginning of the diaspora......

    regards
    adam

    p.s
    i think only yfull could explain this but it is bloody expensive....
    By the way, my bad: I meant Y14891. When you start getting into 5-digit strings, error is inevitable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjohn View Post
    i think i belong to E-M84>Y14981
    because efgen from e3b haplozone
    use to classified me as m84-b that was only based on 12 markers ......... ???
    but this an aschenazi clade
    and my direct paternal line is syrian jewish from damascus so what is the conection ????????
    my paternal line was seperated from aschenazi m-34 at least 1900 ybp since the beginning of the diaspora......

    regards
    adam

    p.s
    i think only yfull could explain this but it is bloody expensive....
    There're Palestinian Christians who also belong to M84-B cluster and Y14899+, Y14891-, F1539-. What's your kit number?
    E-M84>FGC18389>FGC18413>FGC18401>FGC18422>Y99171 tMRCA 2550ybp

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