Monday, March 31, 2014

Corrected European Regional Percentages (Yet Again) for I-M26 12a1a

Some have pointed out that the early studies showing high M26 in Castile suffered from small sample sizes.  Further, more recent posts and agglomerations of studies show different numbers than what is quoted below.  While Eupedia is usually full of pseudoscientific malarky, this post purports to have collected studies.  And this website claims to have done the same, specific to Spain.

So, taken together, we get the following on our M26 I2a1a leaderboard:

(1) Sardinia (Island Isolated) ~37%
(2) Samnium (Mountainous Central Italy) ~10%
(3) Navarre (Mountainous Northern Spain) ~9%
(4) Sicily (Another Island) ~7%
(5) Basque Country (More Mountains) ~5%
(6) Aragon, Spain ~5%
(7) England, Ireland, and ALL W. European Islands whether Mediterranean, Atlantic, or Channel  ~3%

We also have some allegations (no studies cited) that Andalusia (Spain) is in double digits.

From what I can tell, this is the picture that has emerged.  Please cite links to studies if you have any.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Corrected Study Confirms Even More I-M26 12a1a In Archaic Zones of Italy

The great paper by Brisghelli, et. al., referred to and discussed extensively below, has been updated and corrected.  The updates are stunning.  Now, the descendants of the once-mighty Samnites, the rugged mountain-dwellers of the Southern Italian interior, have shown to be 10% I-M26.

The corrected table can be found by clicking this link.

This pushes Samnites into third place in the M26 frequency chart.  It also confirms what I've posted previously about M26 being found in large numbers among Northern Calabrian mountaineers, who have long been noted to be offshoots of the Samnites.  (The Ancient sources said that the Brutti broke off from the Lucanians, and the Lucanians broke off from the Samnites.  Each of these hardy tribes battle Rome for supremacy in pre-Empire Italy, and they almost won.)

But I digress.  Here are the updated charts of frequency for M-26:

Sardinia ~37%
Castile ~19%
Samnium ~10%
Sicily ~7%
Basque Country ~5%
England, Ireland, and ALL W. European Islands whether Mediterranean, Atlantic, or Channel  ~3%
General Italy/France ~2%

This might clear things up a bit for the spread of M26.

M26's ancestral clade, P37.2, is concentrated very strongly in the Balkans, and that all data seems to indicate that M26 followed a route that went westward through Italy.  In other words, if there had been no stop in Italy, there'd be no stop in Sardinia.  No Italy, no southern France.  Thus, unless there was a back migration of M26 eastward, the M26 there is likely to be ancestral to the M26 that is more westerly. 

An eastward migration is highly unlikely, be cause the Italian regions where it is found (South and Central Appenines) are extremely isolated, and far from the typical coastal routes.  So it is unlikely that a few Sardinian slaves, for example, or English pirates or whatever, spread it.  Samnium and Cosenza are way up in the mountains.

Also, there is a U5 mtDNA clade in Sardinia connected to M26 that bears evidence of an Italian refugium that contributed (in a small way) to the post-glacial expansion of mankind into Europe. 

In other words, synthesizing the various sources, one gets: I2 likely evolved in Anatolia a very long time ago.  It spread westward for sure.  A major stopping point was the Balkans, where regular old P37.2 evolved.  Another stop was Italy, likely, perhaps Piedmont, which is on the French border.  M26 likely evolved there, perhaps during a period of glacial expansion.

Alternatively, the timing of this westward spread is later, and mirrors the Cardium culture.  Either way, South Central Italy (Samnium) is directly west of the Balkans.  And it is isolated.  A strong candidate for a similar Founder effect, like what happened in Sardinia. 

From Italy, it spread to Sardinia, and points further west.  M26 then had a second expansion during the Bronze or Copper Age, which was seaborne.  Others have speculated this mirrors the Megalith culture, and I see no reason why this is not a possibility.  The second spread was clearly seaborne.

I think the M26 found way up in the remote mountains of Italy is a great candidate to be ancestral to the others.  We need some more research on the SNPs to solve this once and for all.  As recent R1b research has shown, the STRs are not enough.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Scholars Finally Apply Some Logic (Not Mythology) To Etruscan Origins

If you read the old Roman and Greek historians, you will notice that they mix their religions and mythology into their writing.  For example, a casual perusal of Suetonius will reveal detailed historical facts and stuff about how talking cows portended the eventual rise of this Emperor or that.  Even the most serious historians will pass along foundation myths, for example, how Hercules visited this German tribe or that, or how some random tribe of Spaniards or Gauls claimed descent from Troy.

No one takes these other facts seriously, except with respect to the Etruscans.

It's been well-documented that the Etruscans (and the Romans) both embellished ties to the older civilizations of the east, only upon an uptick in contacts with the East. 

The Romans invented ties with Troy to beef up their bona fides when faced with older, Hellenistic cultures.  The Etruscans did this too.

When the Etruscans were battling the Greeks for cultural supremacy, they constantly faced snobbery because the Greeks were "older" than them.  So the Etruscans, who also wanted increased trade with Asia Minor, invented ties with the Lydians there.  One or two ancient historians reported this, and enshrined the myth.

If knowledge of Ancient History ain't your thing, just consider how many modern rappers of African-American heritage (to establish their bonafides) call themselves "Gotti" or some variation of the Italian Godfather theme. 

The problem is that certain modern armchair historians, due to lack of perspective, or some animus toward how much of Western Civ originated in Italy, or due to some notion that Northern Italians racially superior, welcome and embrace the exotic Etruscans hypothesis.  They have done so for a while, despite absolutely ZERO evidence of any invasion or cultural shift in Etruscan areas in pre-Etruscan times.  In fact, there is nothing but continuity between Villanovans and their Etruscan successors in the region!

Anyway, now we have genetic studies that finally shut the door on the dummies. 

The link can be found here. 

The study basically found that there are no more ties with Etruscans to the Near East than there are for other Mediterranean cultures, and that any such links are due to the very first farmers migrating to populate Europe at the dawn of post-Ice Age history.

This has been been confirmed by other evidence too, summarized here.

Can we finally put this "Exotic Etruscans" myth to bed, alongside the other ancient myths, like that Aeneas carried the founders of Rome to Italy from Troy on his back, and that eagles pooping caused Vespasian to become Emperor?  Those also appear in ancient histories, after all.