mt DNA from La Palma Guanche remains

The maternal aborigine colonization of La Palma (Canary Islands)
Teeth from 38 aboriginal remains of La Palma (Canary Islands) were analyzed for external and endogenous mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and for diagnostic coding positions. Informative sequences were obtained from 30 individuals (78.9%). The majority of lineages (93%) were from West Eurasian origin, being the rest (7%) from sub-Saharan African ascription. The bulk of the aboriginal haplotypes had exact matches in North Africa (70%). However, the indigenous Canarian sub-type U6b1, also detected in La Palma, has not yet been found in North Africa, the cradle of the U6 expansion. The most abundant H1 clade in La Palma, defined by transition 16260, is also very rare in North Africa. This means that the exact region from which the ancestors of the Canarian aborigines came has not yet been sampled or that they have been replaced by later human migrations. The high gene diversity found in La Palma (95.22.3), which is one of the farthest islands from the African continent, is of the same level than the previously found in the central island of Tenerife (92.42.8). This is against the supposition that the islands were colonized from the continent by island hopping and posterior isolation. On the other hand, the great similarity found between the aboriginal populations of La Palma and Tenerife is against the idea of an island-by-island independent maritime colonization without secondary contacts. Our data better fit to an island model with frequent migrations between islands.

More ancient DNA from native North Africa, showing a mainly Eurasian origin for the mt DNA.  The standard result for all ancient North African ADNA.

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6 responses to “mt DNA from La Palma Guanche remains

  1. I think I already commented on this but maybe was at Dienekes.

    For me the most noticeable item is that 7% of “subsaharan” mtDNA, which strongly suggests that some of the L(xM,N) in North Africa is older than the trans-saharan slave trade and must have arrived, probably, with Y-DNA E1b1b, maybe at the Capsian expansion.

    • I think the average for North Africa ia about 25% SSA, so while a fair amount of it is due to the slave trade, not all of it is. I guess some must come from the central Saharan populations and some from the IM expansion – there is one L6 specific to NW Africa and Iberia from that date.

      The Capsian is too late for the expansion of the E1b1b- it would need to be about 20k ago Luis..

  2. I think the average for North Africa ia about 25% SSA

    Yah, 20-25% L(xM,N) maybe. Not very sure anyhow.

    The Capsian is too late for the expansion of the E1b1b- it would need to be about 20k ago Luis..

    Hmm. Maybe (I get even as much as 30 kya possibly for E1b1b but there are much more recentist estimates too). Guess it could have expanded within th early UP or maybe with Oranian (though as you know I don’t make any sense of Oranian spreading from the Nile – maybe already differentiated E1b1b spread with Capsian anyhow or maybe it was all the time flowing through North Africa in both directions).

    Anyhow we have the following references:

    1. Taforalt: 1/23 or 4.3 % L(xR) but could be M or N(xR) – Kefi et al.

    2. Pre-colonial Guanches: 7% L (xM,N)

    3. Modern North Africans: c. 20-25% L(xM,N)

    4. Modern Canarians: some 12-15% L(xM,N) – from memory (would need to check) .

    So it’s pretty clear that between Oranian (Taforalt) and the Middle Ages (this post) there was some L(xM,N) inflow, that I would associate with Capsian in any case (regardless of Y-DNA).

    If L(xM,N) arrived to North African with Capsian, then it is possible that it arived to La Palma in much smaller ammounts than to the mainland, right. So I would not put my hand on fire in defense of most of that North African L(xM,N) being more recent than Capsian. Some may have arrived with slave trade and other trans-saharan interactions of historical times, of course, but North Africa was never the main destiny of such caravans, who were mostly leading to the more affluent regions of Egypt and West Asia.

    • I take the Im spreading out from the Nile as you get some E going into Iberia about 20k ago, and the crania show a lot of similarities friom the Nile all over North Africa. The Nubian population do expand quite a long way at that time into the Levant, arriving about 22k ago and NW Africa about the same time.

      I think there’s evidence that there was movement across the straits both ways around the time of the LGM.

  3. I take the Im spreading out from the Nile as you get some E going into Iberia about 20k ago

    We have no reason to think it arrived there 20,000 years ago. If that would be true I’d expect exclusively Iberian/European clades and they just do not exist.

    The distribution of E1b1b (including both the Greek and Moroccan variants) seems Chalcolithic-Bronze Age. Though it’s possible it arrived before (Neolithic maybe?). Even if it would be from Oranian times, it could perfectly be a minor backflow within the opposite main movement.

    My greatest interest anyhow to clarify this would be in mtDNA U6, rather than Y-DNA E1b1b, because there is an indication that U6 (or at least U(xU5)) could have been important in Portugal before (and after) Neolithic.

    … and the crania show a lot of similarities friom the Nile all over North Africa

    Taforalt Cromagnons do that?

    The Nubian population do expand quite a long way at that time into the Levant, arriving about 22k ago and NW Africa about the same time.

    That’s your interpretation: you suggest that Kebaran microlithic, with revied dates so far back, would have an origin there, right? But I have read here and there people who disagree. Whatever the case, Oranian is not microlithic but rather just something too similar to what we see in the late Iberian Gravetto-Solutrean, which is older than the first Oranian, which is older in the West than in the East.

    I would not discard a bidirectional flow but you need to explain also why 1/4 of North African mtDNA is Iberian-derived (very clearly, and even more in Taforalt) and how come Upper Egyptians came to imitate the art of Coa (and of Western Europe in general).

    • I’m sure I saw the ETA for E1 in Iberia about 20k ago in one paper.

      I’m going with bidirectional. The Near Easterners show a partial physical relationship to balck Africans and the Y chrs do show movement from Nubia into the NE.

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