Algerian Y chromosomes

Analysis of Y-chromosomal SNP haplogroups and STR haplotypes in an Algerian population sample.

Robino C, Crobu F, Di Gaetano C, Bekada A, Benhamamouch S, Cerutti N, Piazza A, Inturri S, Torre C.

The distribution of Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplogroups and short tandem repeat (STR) haplotypes was determined in a sample of 102 unrelated men of Arab origin from northwestern Algeria (Oran area). A total of nine different haplogroups were identified by a panel of 22 binary markers. The most common haplogroups observed in the Algerian population were E3b2 (45.1%) and J1 (22.5%). Y-STR typing by a 17-loci multiplex system allowed 93 haplotypes to be defined (88 were unique). Striking differences in the allele distribution and gene diversity of Y-STR markers between haplogroups could be found. In particular, intermediate alleles at locus DYS458 specifically characterized the haplotypes of individuals carrying haplogroup J1. All the intermediate alleles shared a common repeat sequence structure, supporting the hypothesis that the variant originated from a single mutational event.

I’ve been over at Dienekes and found this. I  can’t access the full text 😦

  • 22   J1                 22.5%
  • 8    E3a-M2         8.6%
  • 6    E3b1-M78     6.12%
  • 40  E3b2-M81     45.1%
  • 5    J2f-M67         5.1%
  • 1    R1-M173       1% 
  • 11  R1b3-M269   11.2%
  • 1    Q-M242         1%

I noticed the R1’s there. It’s unlikely to be from Europeans, probably the ancient Y chr’s from the back migration from Eurasia, plus some variants of it. R1 is also seen in the Sudan, Cameroon and the Ouldeme, in surprisinly high amounts.

15 responses to “Algerian Y chromosomes

  1. Dienekes mentions that the haplotype appears R1b but not R-M269 (the dominant West European clade).

    I suspect that this “old” (upstream connected) type of R1b, also found (supposing it’s about the same) in Sudan, Upper Egypt and Cameroon may have to do with some early flux from North Africa (itself from Iberia with Oranian) as it appears also to be the case with mtDNA U6 (highest diversity in Iberia but extremely rare elsewhere in Europe, what for me means an Early UP founder effect).

    IMO, R1b in pre-Magdalenian Europe was more diverse than today (being homogeneized mostly in the LGM “bottleneck”). I don’t think there’s any evidence in favor of a West Asian migration into North/NE Africa prior to Neolithic, neither archaeological nor genetic (excepting maybe M1 but that’s much more common in The Horn, what probably connects it with Semitic expansions). R1b as such may well have coalesced in Gravetian/post-Gravettian Europe (the Anatolian incognite may represent an earlier stage of this coalescence or a back-migration from Europe – and I suspect the latter because it’s almost only R1b-P312, unlike the Central Asian “exotic” clade M405, more remotely related only, and, as in Upper Egypt, you find European-like naturalistic rock art).

  2. Dear Matilda

    I think you will find the next two documents
    interesting:

    [1]
    HLA allele and haplotype frequencies in Algerians Relatedness to Spaniards and Basques
    Antonio Arnaiz-Villena , Djamal Benmamar, Miguel Alvarez, Nieves Diaz-Campos, Pilar Varela, Eduardo Gomez-Casado and Jorge Martinez-Laso
    From the Department of Immunology, University Complutense, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Carretera Andalucia, Madrid, Spain
    Received 19 July 1994; accepted 6 February 1995. ; Available online 10 March 2000.
    Abstract
    The powerful genetic polymorphism of the HLA system has been used to identify individuals and populations. Ethnic groups may be characterized by specific HLA allele frequencies and particular extended HLA haplotypes; also, genetic relationships among these groups may be deduced. In the present study, serology and DNA typing were used to detect HLA-A, -B, -C, -DR, and -DQ alleles in each individual and to calculae characteristic haplotypes in Algerians. These results were compared to those previously obtained in other populations, particularly northern Mediterraneans; genetic distances and their respective dendrograms place Basques and Spaniards closer to Algerians than to other Europeans. Also, characteristic Basque and/or Spanish haplotypes are found in Algerians; i.e., A30-B18-Cw3-DR3-DQ2 and Al-B57-Ctv7-DR7-DQ2. This supports the evidence that the Algerian population, mainly its paleo-North African component (Berbers), has a common descent with Basques and Spaniards, probably reflecting a preneolithic relationship between Iberians and paleo-North Africans.

    [2]
    Iberia: Population genetics, anthropology, and linguistics
    Human Biology, Oct 1999 by Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio, Martinez-Laso, Jorge, Alonso-Garcia, Jorge
    Abstract Basques, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Algerians have been studied for HLA and mitochondrial DNA markers, and the data analysis suggests that pre-Neolithic gene flow into Iberia came from ancient white North Africans (Hamites). The Basque language has also been used to translate the Iberian-Tartesian language and also Etruscan and Minoan Linear A. Physical anthropometry of Iberian Mesolithic and Neolithic skeletons does not support the demic replacement in Iberia of preexisting Mesolithic people by Neolithic people bearing new farming technologies from Europe and the Middle East. Also, the presence of cardial impressed pottery in western Mediterranean Europe and across the Maghreb (North Africa) coasts at the beginning of the Neolithic provides good evidence of pre-Neolithic circum-Mediterranean contacts by sea. In addition, predynastic Egyptian El-Badari culture (4,500 years ago) is similar to southern Iberian Neolithic settlements with regard to pottery and animal domestication. Taking the genetic, linguistic, anthropological, and archeological evidence together with the documented Saharan area desiccation starting about 10,000 years ago, we believe that it is possible that a genetic and cultural pre-Neolithic flow coming from southern Mediterranean coasts existed toward northern Mediterranean areas, including at least Iberia and some Mediterranean islands. This model would substitute for the demic diffusion model put forward to explain Neolithic innovations in Western Europe.
    KEY WORDS: HLA, mtDNA, IBERIA, BASQUES, PORTUGUESE, SPANIARDS, ALGERIANS, TAMAZIGHTS, GUANCHES, DEMIC DIFFUSION, ETRUSCANS, MINOANS
    Iberian populations have been studied from genetic, anthropological, and linguistic points of view (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994; Jackes et al. 1997a; ArnaizVillena and Alonso-Garcia 1998). Basically, 2 emergent and different theories have been raised: ( 1 ) Ancient Iberian populations share a genetic and cultural background with Caucasoid paleo-North Africans and with other pre-Neolithic Mediterraneans. No peopling replacement is found in the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. Basques belong to the paleo-Iberian stock, and their language was spoken by Iberians before the Roman invasion. (2) Ancient Iberians were mostly replaced in the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition by more culturally advanced farmers coming from the east into Iberia through the Pyrenees Mountains (demic diffusion model). No North African genetic background is considered.
    Here, we put forth our own and others’ results from 3 different disciplines (genetics, anthropology and archeology, and linguistics) to show that the demic diffusion model cannot be valid for Iberia.
    Populations
    The present-day Iberian genetic pool has been influenced by many major populations and immigrations, starting with the Paleolithic Iberian population, which already existed by 50,000 B.C. Later, this population painted the Altamira caves at about 20,000 B.c. North Africans entered the Iberian region between 20,000 and 8,000 B.C. They were followed by the Saharans, who arrived between 8,000 and 4,000 B.C., probably driven by the drastic climatic change to a hotter and drier environment. These Saharan changes have been documented by the Columbia space shuttle through an extensive collection of infrared photographs [analyzed by McCauley et al. (1982)]; now covered by the biggest desert on Earth, the area had once overflowed with rivers and lakes. This environment could have supported a large pre-Neolithic population in this vast area [8,600,000 km^sup 2^, an area bigger than the United States (Seely 1993)]. The inhabitants would have lived in a typical savanna (or in a more humid environment with the associated animals and vegetation). Recently, Kutzbach et al. (1996) lent support to these pre-Neolithic Saharan climatic changes by finding slight variations in the Earth’s rotational axis, which led to a deviation of humid monsoons and to a lack of rain in the Sahara Desert.
    There were also people coming from central Europe (also generically called Celt invasions), during the first millennium B.c.; nowadays, the importance of the Celtic population input in Spain during this first millennium is under hot debate, and there is a tendency to minimize it. In fact, only cultural and indirect historical references (but not direct evidence) of these invasions exist, particularly references by classical historians who usually cite secondhand and sometimes contradictory references. For example, Herodotus, Livy, Polybius, and Estrabon mention Keltoi or Keltiberians in nonprecise contexts (Burillo-Mozola 1998).
    Islamic peoples (generically called Arabs), who had invaded northern Africa at the end of the 7th century, entered Spain at the beginning of the 8th century. They professed the Islamic religion, but the people coming into Spain were composed of a paleo-North African majority [Hamites or Berberspeaking-people, i.e., Tamazights (Kinder and Hilgemann 1970; Gonem 1996)]. Tamazights are now distributed over Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt (up to the Siwa Oasis). Nomadic Tamazights and Berber-speaking Tuaregs inhabit southern Algeria, southwest Libya, northern Niger, and Mali. At least 30 million people speak Berber dialects around and within the present-day Sahara Desert in the mentioned countries; in particular, about 30% of the population of Algeria and Morocco speak Berber. They are descendants of the pre-Neolithic Saharan people, who have remained in the mountains or desert relatively isolated from Arabic influence (Mockhtar 1990). The Berber component in urban centers (e.g., Algiers) may also be a majority now (Julien 1961; Rachid 1994; Brett and Fentress 1997).
    Other invasions (see Table 1) were mostly military and/or cultural and did not have a significant bearing on the Iberian genetic pool.
    Although the data shown in Table 1 refer to Spain, Portugal has had a parallel population increase and has approximately 10 million inhabitants at present. However, the degree of genetic similarity of the Portuguese to other ethnic groups of the Iberian Peninsula (Basques) and to Spaniards and paleoNorth Africans is not certain. Although Tartesian language and art are also found in southern Portugal (Figure 1), it is possible that the Paleolithic tribes that populated Portugal were distinct from other Iberians. These are the Oestrimnios (northern Portugal) and Cinetes or Conios (southern Portugal). The Paleolithic peoples were also invaded by North Africans (see Table 1), and their degree of relatedness to Tartesians (Ramos-Oliveira 1971a) is uncertain. Invasions of the ancient Portuguese people by central Europeans (Celts) during the first millennium B.C. could have taken place and given rise to the Lusitanians, who were first defined as the more or less unified western Iberian warriors who fought against the Roman invaders (Ramos-Oliveira 197 la).
    The population of Africa in pre-Neolithic times (7,000-3,000 B.C.) has been classified into 5 main ethnic groups: (1) Hamites (Hamite-speaking people) of the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts; they were white people who have been further subdivided into Berbers and Egyptians (n = 100,000) and white-black Ethiopians (n = 100,000); (2) blacks of the Guinea Gulf (n = 250,000); (3) black Nilo-Saharans (n = 250,000), who inhabit the present-day Sahara Desert and Nilo River; (4) black Pygmies of the southwestern African coast (n = 200,000); and (5) black Bushmen of the southern and southeastern African coasts (n = 350,000) (Figure 2A) (McEvedy and Jones 1978). In pharaonic Africa (3,000 B.C.) population numbers had suffered drastic changes. Agricultural Egypt had 1 million people and the rest of Africa (nonagricultural hunters) had 1.2 million altogether. By A.D. 400 blacks from the Guinea Gulf had overwhelmed central and southern Africa, reduced the number of Bushmen, and almost eliminated Pygmies (Figure 2B) (McEvedy and Jones 1978).
    Drastic climatic changes had dried northern Africa by around 8,0004,000 B.C. The forest line moved south toward the equator from about the 16th parallel by 3,000 B.C. (Figure 2C) (Bodmer and Cavalli-Sforza 1976). By then, the Sahara Desert had similar characteristics to the present-day Sahara, and strong migrations toward the north probably sent people to the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean and Canary Islands; the first Iberians and Canary Islands Guanche may in part come from these displaced paleoNorth African inhabitants (Hamite Berbers) or may be closely related (Martinez-Laso et al. 1995).
    The population of Algeria has followed the general Maghreb demographic movements (McEvedy and Jones 1978). In Neolithic times a scattering of Berber people (a few hundred thousand) existed there. However, they did not remain stuck at a simple Neolithic level, and probably, like other Mediterraneans, were evolving through the Bronze and Iron ages (Brett and Fentress 1997). By 1,000 B.C. Phoenicians from Lebanon set up Carthage (Tunisia) and were later overthrown by the Romans in 146 B.C. At this time there were 100,000 Phoenicians and 500,000 Berbers in Tunisia plus another 2.5 million Berbers in the rest of North Africa. By A.D. 200 Algeria had no more than 2 million people. During the 7th century, Arabs invaded Algeria and mixed with Berbers, who were the majority (Julien 1961); some researchers postulate that most of the modern Saharan and Maghreb peoples are not Arabs but Berbers who speak Arabic and have a Berber genetic background (Rachid 1994). Demographically, Algeria (and Maghreb) has been stable until recently, when France and Spain left their colonies. The Algerian population was 9 million in 1950 and is more than 25 million at present.
    Genetics
    One of the recurrent problems of Spanish ethnography is the still unresolved origin of the Basques; although some researchers postulate that the Basques are a relative isolate of the ancient original Iberian population (Humboldt 1921; Michelena 1964), others put forward the hypothesis that Basques came from afar (the Caucasus) (Laffon 1993). However, these theories are mostly based on linguistic data. In addition, studies of blood groups (Mourant 1947) and serological HLA markers (Dausset et al. 1972; Mouzon et al. 1979; Regueiro and Arnaiz-Villena 1988) were done in the past decades. A high phenotypic frequency of Rh-negative types and a low frequency of the B blood group were regarded as distinctive of Basque populations (Mourant 1947); however, these frequencies have been found to be a general characteristic of other neighboring Western European populations, as detailed by Roychoudhury and Nei (1988). Reported Rh-negative gene frequencies (cde) are 0.44 for Spanish Basques, 0.54 for Portuguese, 0.43 for the Isle of Man, 0.38 for Spaniards, 0.41 for French, 0.42 for Irish, and 0.39 for English; reported B frequencies are 0.03 for Basques, 0.05 for Portuguese, 0.07 for Irish, 0.06 for Spaniards, 0.06 for French, and 0.06 for English. Thus frequencies of Basque Rh-negative and B blood groups are not significantly different from the surrounding populations, although a distinctive effect might be expected because of the Basques’ historical lack of substantial admixture with neighbors and invaders (Caro-Baroja 1981; Roman del Cerro 1993, pp. 33-34).
    The HLA system is one of the most polymorphic genetic systems and is widely used to identify individuals (Tsuji et al.1992). HLA discriminating ability can also be used to single out populations; particular alleles appear only in particular populations (e.g., *A36 and *A43 in black Africans) or have high frequency in particular populations, and the strong linkage disequilibrium between HLA alleles at neighboring loci shows that certain combinations (HLA haplotypes) are characteristic of certain living populations. Thus HLA alleles are a unique tool to study the origins of relatively isolated groups because the characteristic HLA allele frequencies have not been completely diluted with time; less discrimination might be achieved if HLA allele frequencies were mixed for calculation with other less polymorphic allelic systems.
    Similarly, HLA-A and HLA-B (Dausset and Colombani 1973) and HLA-DR (Imanishi, Wakisaka et al. 1992) allele frequencies have been used to individualize populations. Dendrograms have been constructed according to differences in HLA allele frequencies and the population genetic distances reported at the 11th International Histocompatibility Workshop (Imanishi, Wakisaka et al. 1992; Imanishi, Akaza et al,1992). The obtained ethnic group clusters (roughly, Europeans, Africans, Asians, and Australian Aborigines) fit well with the classical anthropologically defined ethnic groups. However, the analysis is still incomplete, and further analysis, including HLA-DR and HLADQ DNA genotypes and characteristic complete HLA haplotypes of different populations (Imanishi, Wakisaka et al. 1992), are necessary.
    Others studies (Degos and Dausset 1974; Cambon-Mouzon et al. 1982) and our own previous research (Rodriguez-Cordoba et al. 1981; ArnaizVillena et al. 1981; Regueiro and Arnaiz-Villena 1988) have pointed out that the HLA A30-B18-DR3-BF*F,I haplotype was a marker for Basques, Sardinians, and Spaniards. Its frequency in other populations was significantly lower, except for white North Africans; this suggested a paleo-North African/ Iberian origin for part of the Basque gene pool (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1981). More recently, complete HLA data on Basques and Spaniards (MartinezLaso et al. 1995) have been analyzed by DNA indirect sequencing and compared for the first time with data from a North African population (Algerians) with at least a 70% Berber component (Julien 1951; Benmamar et al. 1993; Rachid 1994; Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1995). Basques were chosen at Hospital Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu (San Sebastian) from a group of unrelated healthy blood donors only if they had characteristic Basque surnames in the last 3 generations. Figure 3 shows the relatedness between Iberian, North African, European, and other populations (Martinez-Laso et al. 1995; ArnaizVillena et al. 1995, 1997) based on a neighbor-joining dendrogram constructed with the allele frequencies obtained by DNA typing and sequencing (HLA-DR and HLA-DQ DNA) and by HLA-A and HLA-B serology. The figure shows that Portuguese are close to Basques from San Sebastian, with a distance similar to that of Spaniards from Madrid (Figure 3). Algerians, Portuguese, and Basques also show that they are more related to one another than to other Europeans; it is remarkable that Iberians and Algerians cluster together with relatively high bootstraps, particularly in the case of Portuguese and Basques. This supports the conclusion that Iberians and Algerians are more closely related to each other than to other Europeans. The fairly long Basque and Sardinian branches may reflect the relative isolation that they have experienced among Europeans (Martinez-Laso et al. 1995); this tends to increase the frequency of certain alleles already present in the founder population (e.g., HLA A*30, B*18, DR*3). These results had been suggested by Imanishi, Wakisaka et al. (1992) and Imanishi, Akaza et al. (1992) using HLA-A and HLA-B alleles and fewer individuals. It was found that Iberians cluster closer to Africans than to Europeans: Middle Eastern and Maghreb (e.g., Algerians) populations were not included because of a lack of data. These results show that Europeans cluster together with the exception of Spaniards, Portuguese, Basques, and Sardinians, who cluster closer to African populations.
    The HLA allele frequency studies have also included more specific HLA haplotype studies to which a possible origin may be assigned (Table 2).
    HLA Haplotypes. The A *2-Cw*7-B*7-DRBI *1501-DQA1 *0102-DQB1 *0602 haplotype is common to French Basques (haplotype frequency, 0.036), Cornish (0.036), Austrians (0.026), and Britons (0.023) (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992) and does not appear in high frequency in northern Europeans, such as Scandinavians, or in other Mediterranean populations. This haplotype is mainly found in England, Spain, Portugal, and northern Africa.
    The A*33-Cw*8-B*14-DRBI *0102-DQA*0101-DQB]*0501 haplotype shows the highest frequency in Armenians (0.031) and is also high in frequency or present in other Mediterranean European populations such as Sardinians (0.027), French (0.014), Greeks (0.011), and Italians (0.007) (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992). This haplotype does not appear in Portuguese and Basques and has a much lower frequency in northern European populations (Martinez-Laso et al. 1995). The fact that Armenians (and not Basques) bear this marker does not support a theory that Basques and Armenians are related and have a common descent. Armenians may have acquired this haplotype during their historical Middle East Mediterranean settlements in the Middle Ages (Martinez-Laso et al. 1995). Alternatively, this haplotype may be of Armenian origin.
    The A *I-Cw*7-B*8-DRB1 *0301-DQA1 *0501-DQB1 *0201 haplotype frequency is similar in British (0.029) and Danish (0.034). Germans (0.048), Austrians (0.053), and Yugoslavians (0.077) show higher frequencies (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992). This haplotype may be of Indo-European-Celtic origin (Degos and Dausset 1974).
    The A*30-Cw*5-B*18-DRBl *0301-DQA] *0501-DQBI *0201 haplotype is found in Sardinians (0.114) and French Basques (0.047) (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992). Its frequency is much lower or absent in other European populations. This haplotype was defined as Iberian/paleo-North African (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1981). Bouali and co-workers found this haplotype to be most frequent in Algerians; it was described as B*18-BF*Fl (ArnaizVillena et al. 1995).
    The A*29-C*blank-B*44-DRBI *0701-DQA1 *020] haplotype is found at a frequency of 0.054 in Cornish but Danish, French, and Italians show lower frequencies (
    The A*3-Cw*7-B*7-DRB1 *1501-DQA1*0102-DQB1 *0602 haplotype has been defined as a northern European haplotype (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1995) because of its high frequencies in Danish (0.036), Austrians (0.032), Czechs (0.025), and Yugoslavians (0.024) and also in French (0.018) and Italians (0.006) (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992).
    The A*25-C*blank-B*18-DRB1 *1501-DQAI *0102-DQBI *0602 haplotype is present in the United States (0.009) and in Brazilians (0.007), probably because of Portuguese ancestors (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992).
    The A*26-C*blank-B*38-DRBI *1301-DQAI*0103-DQBI *0603 haplotype has not been described in other populations (Imanishi, Akaza et al. 1992).
    Portuguese populations have features in common with Basques and Spaniards from Madrid; high frequencies of the HLA haplotypes A *29-B*44DR*7 (ancient western Europeans), A*2-B*7-DR*15 (ancient Europeans and paleo-North Africans), and A*1-B*8-DR*3 (Europeans) are common characteristics. Portuguese and Basques do not show the Mediterranean A*33B*14-DR*1 haplotype, suggesting a lower admixture with Mediterraneans; Spaniards and Algerians do have this haplotype in a relatively high frequency, indicating a more extensive Mediterranean genetic influence. The paleoNorth African haplotype A*30-B*18-DR*3 present in Basques, Algerians, and Spaniards is not found in Portuguese either. The Portuguese have a characteristic HLA make-up among world populations: high frequencies of A *25B*18-DR*IS and A*26-B*38-DR*13, which may reflect a still detectable founder effect coming from ancient Portuguese (Oestrimnios and Conios). Basques and Algerians also show specific haplotypes, A*l-B*27-DR*l and A*2-B*35-DR*lI, respectively, probably showing a relatively lower degree of admixture and a founder effect.
    A recent HLA study (Izaabel et al. 1998) in Moroccan Berbers supports our conclusion that paleo-North Africans are genetically closer to Spaniards than to other Europeans. In addition, Comas et al. (1998) studied the HLA profiles in a Basque population sample and stated that a common origin for Spaniards, Basques, and North Africans was not found. This conclusion was not based on the data: (1) Basque HLA frequencies and haplotypes do not significantly differ from previously published results (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1981; Imanishi, Wakisaka et al. 1992; Martinez-Laso et al. 1995; Izaabel et al. 1998). (2) When Comas et al. (1998) studied previously published data on Algerians [from Arnaiz-Villena et al. (1995)], only a partial analysis was done; Comas et al. (1998) presented a neighbor-joining tree from arbitrarily chosen populations (Figure 2), but our own data on Algerians are not included in the analysis of 18 worldwide populations (Comas et al. 1998, Figure 1) or with other populations in the principal components analysis (Comas et al. 1998, Figure 3); also, heterogeneous data from populations that were HLA typed at different degrees of allelism were inappropriately mixed.
    In summary, HLA data from several different research groups support North African/Iberian/Basque relatedness: (1) Imanishi, Akaza et al. (1992) and Imanishi, Wakisaka et al. (1992) used results of 126 different ethnic groups studied by 186 laboratories distributed worldwide for the 1I th International Histocompatibility Workshop; (2) Arnaiz-Villena et al. (1981) found that Basques, Sardinians, and Spaniards from Madrid shared common HLA haplotypes with Berber populations; (3) these results have been further confirmed by studies of HLA genes by indirect DNA sequencing techniques (Martinez-Laso et al. 1995; Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1995, 1997; Clayton and Lonjou 1997); (4) a Moroccan-Swiss-French group has also found relatedness between Iberians and Moroccan Berbers (Izaabel et al. 1998).
    On the other hand, mitochondrial DNA evidence (Corte-Real et al. 1996) shows that the genetic input of northern Africa to the Iberian Peninsula is as important as the gene flow from the rest of Europe. Also, recent mtDNA sequence variation analyses have revealed that a major Paleolithic population expansion from the Atlantic zone (southwestern Europe) may have occurred 10,000-15,000 years ago, after the last glacial maximum. An mtDNA marker for this expansion, haplogroup V, was identified and was observed only in northwestern Europe and North Africa. It reaches high frequencies in some Iberian populations and is also common among the Berbers of North Africa. Thus this distribution indicates that, in contrast to haplogroup H, haplogroup V did not originate in the Near East but in either Europe or North Africa (Richards et al. 1996; Torroni et al. 1998). Also, Pinto et al. (1996) observed that most of the female transmitted mitochondrial genes found at present in the Canary Islands population came from the Berber first Canary Islands population (Guanche) and that most of the paternally transmitted genes come from European conquerors. This fits with historical events: Most Guanche males were killed or sold in Valencia and Sevilla by Spanish conquerors during the 15th century; European males mixed thereafter with Guanche females. In addition, Y-chromosome polymorphisms also support a common origin for Basques and Sardinians (Santachiara-Benerecetti and Semino 1996), who may also share a paleo-North African origin (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1981) together with Etruscans and Minoans from Crete (Arnaiz-Villena and Alonso-Garcia 1998).
    Physical Anthropology
    Skeletal studies from Mesolithic and Neolithic samples have been extensively carried out by Meiklejohn et al. (1984), Lubell et al. (1994), Lalueza-Fox (1996), and Jackes et al. (1997a). Jackes et al. (1997a) analyzed the agricultural transition by using dental and skeletal variables obtained from partial data. They performed an exhaustive analysis of their own and other data on Mesolithic and Neolithic Iberian skeletal parameters. In particular, they analyzed skulls from skeletons labeled either male or female, because sexual dimorphism did not alter significantly across the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. A scatter plot of 8 craniometric variables from 20 skeletons from Iberia (Spain: Majorca, Tarragona, Basque Country, Catalonia, Cantabria, Barcelona, Burgos, Castilla, Andalucia, Granada; Portugal; Eira, Pedrinha, Escoural, Melides, Cabezo da Aruda, Moita de Sehastiao) showed that there was no significant change in the studied variables between Neolithic and Mesolithic samples.
    Both, Lalueza-Fox (1996) and Jackes et al. (1997a,b) agreed that stature is similar in Neolithic and Mesolithic Iberian skeletons. The statures are consistent with the observed trend of gradually decreasing stature in European populations from the upper Paleolithic through the Neolithic, with a subsequent stature increase after the Neolithic (Meiklejohn et al. 1984). Dental caries rates do not show a discontinuity either, and the observed reduction rate in the Neolithic shows complex dietary changes that started during the Mesolithic and continued into the Neolithic (Lubell et al. 1994).
    Thus the demic diffusion model put forward by Clark (1965) and Renfrew (1973), which implies an important (or complete) replacement of the population, is not sustainable for Iberia, where no revolutionary way of life changes or physical anthropometry and diet differences were found. However, the Iberian diet began to change soon after 8,000 years B.P. (beginning of the Mesolithic) and has continued to change (Lubell et al. 1994). This dietary change has been gradual and does not coincide with the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition.
    Linguistics and Conclusions
    Languages in populations have been shown to correlate roughly with specific genetic markers in the respective population analysis (Cavalli-Sforza 1996; Santachiara-Benerecetti and Semino 1996). At a recent systematics meeting in Madrid (February 23-24, 1998, organized by J. Klein and A. Arnaiz-Villena), M. Nei recommended to L.L. Cavalli-Sforza the use of statistics for matching languages with populations defined by genetic markers. It is indeed an almost impossible task, because many languages have been lost or subsumed and most populations are far from being genetically well defined. Although language “steamrollers” (Diamond 1997) are clear in America because sound historical documentation is available, their existence in other parts of the world is doubtful, particularly in western Europe, where historical documents are not available. It has been calculated that about 60-80 million Amerindians died in the century following the European discovery of the Americas in 1492 (Dobbins 1993); also, cultures and languages were systematically destroyed and replaced by those of the invaders (Crawford 1998). In other words, that steamrollers erase languages and cultures in western Europe according to the classical demic diffusion model (Gimbutas 1963; Renfrew 1987) is difficult to sustain nowadays.
    The demic diffusion model hypothesizes that Neolithic farmers who were coming from the Middle East were slowly reaching Mesolithic western Europe. First, there is no evidence of Neolithic replacement of people on the Iberian Peninsula. On the contrary, the suggested conformity of Iberian craniometric data to a demic diffusion model simply does not exist; Mesolithic and Neolithic bones show clear continuity (Jackes et al.1997b). Second, recent genetic data in North Africans, Spaniards, Basques, Portuguese, and Cretans (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1981, 1997, 1999; Corte-Real et al. 1996; Izaabel et al. 1998) support substantial gene flow from paleo-North African populations to Iberia. Also, common extended HLA haplotypes between presentday North African and Iberian populations, including Basques, exist (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1997; Izaabel et al. 1998).
    Third, archeological studies at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River (La Marisrnilla, Sevilla) (Escacena-Carrasco 1996) showed that domesticated bovines and cats came with people from Africa about 5,000 years ago; in addition, the predynastic Egyptian El-Badari culture (4,500 years ago) is similar to many southern Iberian Neolithic settlements in pottery and animal domestication (Escacena-Carrasco 1996). Cardial impressed pottery is common and contemporary in western Europe and North African coasts. The coastal distribution of cardial impressed pottery in western Mediterranean Europe (Lewthwaite 1986) and across the Maghreb (Gilman 1992; Lubell et al.1992) provides good evidence of circum-Mediterranean contacts by sea. Both ElBadari and Iberian Neolithic people probably came from the drying Sahara area (McCauley et al. 1982). Indeed, Tassili cave paintings in the middle of the Sahara Desert (southeastern Argelia) show domesticated bovine about 1,000 years before documented Neolithic agricultural practices starting in the Middle East (Cavalli-Sforza 1996).
    Fourth, the Iberian language has now been deciphered and has been found to be similar to Etruscan and Minoan Linear A (Alonso-Garcia 1996, 1998; Arnaiz-Villena and Alonso-Garcia 1998, 1999). Basque (and its Spanish translation) has been the Rosetta stone. Table 3 lists words compiled by Arnaiz-Villena and Alonso-Garcia (1998) that are cognates from a common origin. The Basque language had also been related to North Caucasian and to Etruscan languages (Bengston 1991; Ruhlen 1991; Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994).
    Thus, the question that Jared Diamond posed to Terrell et al. (1998)Do Terrell et al. believe all Europeans spoke a single tongue, Basque, until a few thousand years ago?can be answered. The answer is, It is possible. Caucasians, Etruscans, and the first Minoans from Crete spoke a language similar to Basque and Berber; probably, the origin of this language came from the Saharan people who were forced to migrate northward in pre-Neolithic times when desiccation started (McCauley et al. 1982).

    Acknowledgments This research was supported in part by the Spanish Ministry of Education through grants PM57-95 and PM96-21, by FIS through grant 94-0367, by the Ramon Areces Fundacion, and by Comunidad de Madrid through grants 06-7097 and 8.3/14/98. We thank Isabel Gonzalez Cham6n for her technical skill at preparing the manuscript.

  3. Very interesting, however I find the comment, “strong migrations toward the north probably sent people to the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean and Canary Islands” extremely unlikely.

    I’ve heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” but if a population with very limited previous boating ability is pushed towards a shoreline they are unlikely to suddenly greatly improve it. I’ve heard the same unconvincing argument used to account for the Austronesian expansions after sea level rose but certainly in that region the ancient populations on increasingly isolated islands died out.

    If any population possesses any significant boating ability they are more likely to improve it during good times, when they have time to experiment. Once developed the boating technology will allow them to immediately expand. They won’t wait until conditions become intolerable.

    Besides which, in this case, there is no evidence for ancient boating ability in Africa, however there is in Europe. The similarities in North African and Iberian populations could well be the result of ancient movement south across the Mediterranean.

  4. Reply to terryt

    Actually the ancient coastal Berbers of North Africa were accomplished boat people.
    They explored the Southern coast of Morroco
    going down as far as the Ivory coast and Ghana. Also they went to the Canary Islands, and populated them a few thousand years ago; leaving the ancient culture called Guanche, who are the descendants of the Berbers; as their DNA has shown.Further more they explored the Mediterranean and left their DNA in the population of Sicily,even going as far as Crete.

    Please read the following document:

    The origin of Cretan populations as determined by characterization of HLA alleles
    A. Arnaiz-Villena 1*, P. Iliakis 2*, M. González-Hevilla 1 , J. Longás 1 , E. Gómez-Casado 1 , K. Sfyridaki 2 , J. Trapaga 1 , C. Silvera-Redondo 1 , C. Matsouka 2 , J. Martínez-Laso 1
    1 Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, H. 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain , 2 Department of Hematology, Venizelion Hospital, Iraklion, Crete, Greece

    Correspondence to:
    Antonio Arnaiz-Villena
    Departamento de Inmunología y Biología Molecular
    H. 12 de Octubre
    Universidad Complutense
    Carretera Andalucía
    28041 Madrid
    Spain
    E-mail: Antonio.Arnaiz@inm.h12o.es
    http://chopo.pntic.mec.es/biolmol

    *The contribution by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena and Polyvios Iliakis is equal and the order of authorship is arbitrary
    Copyright © Munksgaard 1999
    KEYWORDS
    HLA • Berbers • Imazighen • Cretans • Greeks • Jews • Basques • Turks
    ABSTRACT

    Abstract:

    The Cretan HLA gene profile has been compared with those of other Mediterranean populations in order to provide additional information regarding the history of their origins. The allele frequencies, genetic distances between populations, relatedness dendrograms and correspondence analyses were calculated. Our results indicate that the Indoeuropean Greeks may be considered as a Mediterranean population of a more recent origin (after 2000 B.C.), while all other studied Mediterraneans (including Cretans) belong to an older substratum which was present in the area since pre-Neolithic times. A significant Turkish gene flow has not been detected in the Greek or Cretan populations, although Greeks and Turks have two high frequency HLA-DRB-DQB haplotypes in common. It is proposed that Imazighen (Caucasoid Berbers living at present in the North African coast and Saharan areas) are the remains of pre-Neolithic Saharan populations which could emigrate northwards between about 8000–6000 B.C., when desert desiccation began. They also could be part of the stock that gave rise to Sumerians, Cretans and Iberians; this is supported by both linguistic and HLA genetic data.

  5. Reply to terryt [2]

    Also you may be interested in the following document:

    Prehistoric Iberia: Genetics,
    Anthropology, and Linguistics1
    antonio arnaiz-villena and david lubell2
    Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, H.
    12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense, Avda.
    Andalucia s/n, 28041 Madrid, Spain (antonio.arnaiz@
    inm.hl2o.es)./Department of Anthropology, University
    of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H4.
    31 viii 99
    Evidence for an autochthonous development of culture in prehistoric Iberia comes from genetics, anthropology, and linguistics. Pre-Neolithic and Neolithic circum-Mediterranean contacts, mostly by sea, probably produced a community of Mediterraneans who had frequent trade, genetic, and cultural exchanges; objective findings indicate that the demic-diffusion model of cultural and population replacement does not hold. To discuss these issues, a meeting was held in Madrid, sponsored by the Fundacio´n de Estudios Gene´ticos y Lingu¨ ı´sticos, November 16–17, 1998. Participants from the fields of genetics, archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics adopted a multidisciplinary approach. Antonio Arnaiz-Villena (Immunology, Universidad Complutense, and Fundacio´n de Estudios Gene´ticos y Lingu¨ ı´sticos, Madrid) presented data suggesting that, according to the HLA genes (A30-B18), paleo–North Africans (Berbers) were related to Iberians, including the Basques. An old genetic substratum in Iberia (marked by A29-B44) parallels the Rh(-) frequencies and is shared by western European populations from Ireland, southern France, and England. Portuguese and Basques show less Mediterranean HLA gene flow than other Iberians. Furthermore, eastern Mediterranean populations (Jewish,Lebanese, Cretan) tend to cluster together, and western ones (Berber, Spaniards, Portuguese, Algerians, Basques) also tend to be more similar among themselves when all of the Mediterranean gene frequencies are compared. However, all Mediterranean populations cluster together when compared with Greeks, who represent an outgroup with a genetic distance similar to that of the Japanese. Arnaiz-Villena concluded that, in the past few thousand years and especially in periods of milder climate, there were circum-Mediterranean contacts and gene flow and that the Greeks are relatively “recent” Mediterraneans (pre- Mycenaeans, 2000 b.c.) who conquered the Cretan empire and adopted its writing (Linear A) and culture (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 1999). Vicente M. Cabrera (Genetics, Universidade de la Laguna, Tenerife) showed that the maternally inherited (mitochondrial) genes of the present-day Canary Islands population came from the North African Berbers and its paternally inherited genes from Europeans. This is concordant with historical facts. Berber-speaking people populated the Canary Islands in prehistoric times; this has been documented by inscriptions found in caves and by archaeological data. In the 14th century, Europeans invaded the Canary Islands, killed (or sold in Iberia) most of male aborigines (guanches), and mixed with female aborigines. Alicia Sa´nchez-Mazas (Anthropology and Ecology, University of Geneva) presented genetic data on Berbers (Imazighen, the first white North African population), showing that HLA data grouped northern and southern Mediterraneans together and supported a northward migration of prehistoric Berbers to Iberia, Italy, and the Mediterranean islands, where they mixed with the autochthonous populations. The migration may have occurred when the North African climate became hotter and drier after 6,000 b.p. Most of the present North African populations speak Arabic but are Berber in origin. The genetic information supports the view that the 7thcentury Arab invasions of Iberia and North Africa included Arab leaders and aristocrats from the Middle East but consisted mainly of recently recruited Berbers. Blood groups (ABO and Rh) show that North African (Maghreb) Arabic-speaking and Berber-speaking people did not differ in genetic background. Tuaregs {living in the southern Sahara) show more differences and are probably more closely related to the people of the Sudan Beja. Pedro del Moral (Anthropology, Universidad de Barcelona) showed that a mitochondrial DNA analysis yielded a west-east gradient of haplotype frequencies with the highest value of V and H haplogroups around Iberia (more frequent in Basques). This gradient also included North Africans from the Maghreb. This supports a pre-Neolithic migration from Iberia (or North Africa) eastward, probably during the second European interglacial. However, chromosome-Y data provide a completely different picture, one of north-to-south discontinuity, particularly in the Strait of Gibraltar (although only one Moroccan population has been analysed). Differences in gene genealogies between mitochondrial and Y DNA data are found all over the world. To interpret these differences it will probably be necessary to correlate the archaeological, historical, and sexual-behavioural data on the various ethnic groups with the genetic data. In addition, the degree of isolation should be taken into account. Further complexity was introduced by the analysis of less polymorphic genetic systems. In these cases, it will be necessary to consider bootstrap values of relatedness dendrograms and differential analysis for each set of data, including the degree of polymorphism and differences in the degree of isolation of ethnic groups. Christopher Meiklejohn (Anthropology, University of Winnipeg) argued that according to craniometric data the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the Iberian peninsula was not accompanied by detectable population replacement.This does not support the demic-diffusion model, according to which agriculturalists from the Middle East were gradually reaching Western Europe and replacing existing populations. Morphological patterns in Portuguese crania were similar in Mesolithic and Neolithic samples. In addition, Mesolithic and Neolithic samples from Anatolia, Greece, Italy, and Corsica showed a separation between East andWest Mediterranean skeletons, and therefore the arrival in the west of new populations
    from the east should have been noticed if it occurred. The only exception was an indication of similarity between early Neolithic groups in Greece and Anatolia. In summary, east-west demic diffusion in the central and western Mediterranean cannot be demonstrated by craniometric analysis (Jackes, Lubell, and Meiklejohn 1997). David Lubell (Anthropology, University of Alberta) summarized both his and other studies on Maghreb archaeology and palaeoenvironments during the past 20,000 years, asking whether connections between the Maghreb and Iberia could be demonstrated prior to the widespread appearance of Cardial ceramics in the western Mediterranean around 7,000 b.p. Significant climatic variations occurred between 20,000 b.p. and 7,000 b.p. in western North Africa: the Iberomaurusian culture appeared in coastal areas ca. 20,000 b.p., when sea level was 110m below modern levels and the interior high plateaus were inhospitable and dry. Two types of anatomically modern Homo sapiens have been associated with this culture, a more robust Mechta-Afalou and a more gracile Mechtoid, but the distinction is based on metric traits which are not necessarily reliable. By 11,000
    b.p., just before the Younger Dryas, the northern border of the Sahara had shifted south, opening a zone of Mediterranean scrub across the interior of the Maghreb. By 9,000 b.p. there were bands of grassland north and south of the Sahara (then only a semidesert), and the inland regions were populated by groups responsible for the Capsian. By 8,000 b.p. the Sahara was a grassland widely populated by both pastoralists and hunter-gatherers. This period extended until about 5,000 b.p., when modern climatic conditions were established. The anatomically modern populations responsible for the Capsian were the same as those found with the Iberomaurusian. Analyses of craniometry, dentition, and lithic industries show no clear sign of new human immigration. A series of indigenous developments occurred approximately along the
    Tropic of Cancer, in both the eastern and the western Sahara, between 9,000 and 7,000 b.p. (pottery, cattle domestication, collection of grasses) which could have crossed the Sahara to the Mediterranean littoral and possibly Iberia, although at present there is no evidence to substantiate this. The Capsian way of life became the “Neolithic of Capsian Tradition” (as yet poorly understood with the exception of one site). All these circum-Saharan cultural changes are regarded as autochthonous.
    Mary Jackes (Anthropology, University of Alberta) discussed the difficulties of generalizing about past lifeways on the basis of archaeological skeletal samples. She showed that while DNA extraction is of paramount importance, the work of skeletal biologists is critical to establishing a context for the interpretation of the work of geneticists, particularly those who are extrapolating backward through time. Furthermore, in cases in which ancient DNA cannot be amplified because of the microbial destruction of bone, the information provided by skeletal biologists becomes crucial. She argued that it is essential to understand the possibility of sampling bias and the reality of demographic constraints and that dental morphology is probably the best means by which skeletal biologists can discuss the genetic relationships of past populations. Within the limits of the data available at present, she used dental morphology to show that there was no dramatic change of population at the Mesolithic- Neolithic transition in Iberia. This is in accord with the interpretation of the Mesolithic shell middens
    at Muge (Moita do Sebastia˜o, Cabec¸o da Arruda) as indicating a fairly sedentary population which was slowly changing through time, with indications from dental pathology of a trend towards the Neolithic, and a slowly changing dietary regime. Work on the human skeletal samples from these sites and several Neolithic Portuguese ossuaries (Casa de Moura, Feteira, Furninha, Melides)
    indicates a slowly increasing population, one in which there is no dramatic change in terms of health or demography. The available osteological data do not support a scenario of population replacement at Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Iberia and thus contradict the demic-diffusion model. While there is no evidence of population change (and it must be recognized that because of the biological limits to human fertility a small number of immigrants will not alter the gene pool dramatically), the question of cultural diffusion and multiple contacts along Mediterranean coasts as the explanation for the appearance and subsequent intensification Neolithic lifeways is of course outside the realm of competence of the osteologist. Archaeological and osteological data need to be reconciled, perhaps by increased study of ancient DNA. Peter Rowley-Conwy (Archaeology, University of Durham),
    citing his and others’ study of faunal remains from numerous archaeological sites throughout the circum-Mediterranean, showed that sheep and cattle were domesticated early in the Neolithic, goat in the Middle Neolithic, and pig in the late Neolithic. All four types of animals go with cereal agriculture in a single package,
    each species making its own contribution to the enhancement of this new way of life. Thus, animal domestication probably occurred in Iberia when agriculture reached the Peninsula from Europe; this does not necessarily mean population replacement but only that the Iberian indigenous groups adopted the new technology. Claims for the existence of late Mesolithic and early
    Neolithic domestic pigs in southern Spain and their North African origin are not substantiated by the available evidence.
    Jose´ Luis Escacena (Archaeology, Universidad de Sevilla) presented archaeological data from the La Marismilla settlement (at the ancient mouth of the Guadalquivir River) that he considered to demonstrate that ceramics and other cultural items (dating to about 2000 b.c.) were very similar to those of the Egyptian predynastic El-Badari culture. He postulated a common origin for Egyptian and Iberian cultures, suggesting that Saharans emigrated to both Iberia and the Nile Valley because of increasing aridity. Further studies will be necessary to assess this idea.
    Jorge Alonso Garcı´a (Fundacio´n de Estudios Gene´ticos y Lingu¨ ı´sticos, Madrid) presented a translation of a previously
    undeciphered Iberian-Tartesian language based on Basque-Spanish equivalences. The theory that present-day Basque represents the language of ancient Iberians has been advanced by many writers, includingWilliam von Humboldt in 1821. The “Rosetta Stone” was
    an inscription in both Latin and Iberian from Tarragona (Spain): Heic. est. sit (Latin) p Aqui yace (Spanish) p “Here is buried” (English); Are-tace-ce(u)-sakarlin (Iberian) pAratze-zeu-sakar-ilun (Basque)pAquı´ yace el difunto desecho para la oscuridad (Spanish) p “Here is buried the deceased, debris for darkness.” Also, the Tartesian language, spoken in southern Spain and Portugal, has been shown to be similar to Iberian with minor phonetic and alphabet variants (Arnaiz-Villena and Alonso-
    Garcı´a 1999). Merritt Ruhlen (Stanford, California) presented evidence, based largely on the work of John Bengtson, that Basque belongs to a recently delineated language family known as Dene-Caucasian. In addition to Basque, this family has five branches: (1) the Caucasian family, spoken in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, (2) the Burushaski language, spoken in the mountains of northern Pakistan, (3) the Ket language, the sole surviving member of an earlier Yeniseian family, spoken on
    the Yenisei River in central Siberia, (4) the Sino-Tibetan family (Chinese, Burmese), spoken in East Asia, and (5) the Na-Dene family, spoken in the NewWorld, primarily in Alaska and western Canada (Ruhlen 1998). The discontinuous distribution of the six branches of the family, three of whose members are protected by their location in a mountainous region, suggests that they are all that remains of what must have once been a much larger family. It thus appears that an early Dene-Caucasian migration into Eurasia was later in large measure overrun by a different expansion, that of the Eurasiatic family (including Indo-European, Uralic, and Altaic). In Europe, Basque remains the sole language from the initial expansion, all the others having been replaced by Indo-European languages within the past 6,000 years.

  6. As far as I’m aware there is no evidence for movement across the Mediterranean before islands such as Cyprus and Crete were colonised, somewhere around 10,000 years ago if not more recently.

    I’m not sure if the Iberomaurusian culture predates this, or even if it is found on both the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean. If it is it would indicate effective boating was introduced to the Mediterranean before the above date. But the question remains: where did this boating technology come from? It was almost certainly not the product of ecological pressure on the northern litoral pf Africa, which is my original gripe with the article.

  7. I think one L mt DNA found in Iberia has a ETA of about 20k ago from North Africa.

  8. Reply to terryt.

    Crete was colonised more than 10,000 ya; and the Iberomaurusian culture pre-dates that by at least 10,000 years.
    The island of Crete has been inhabited since prehistoric times. A civilization which ruled the island and much of the Aegean during the Bronze Age.These ancient peoples must of had the boating knowledge to sail there, they obviously developped there own sea going know-how/technology in situ; just as the stone age peoples invented flint tools.

  9. Thanks Mathilda. I’ll try and check it out. Luis will almost certainly be able to tell us the situation though.

  10. Crete was colonised from Anatolia.

  11. Uraeus said: “they obviously developped there own sea going know-how/technology in situ”.

    So the technology just miraculously arrived in the region around Crete did it? Humans obviously had boating technology long before they had reached Crete, and a long way away. Southeast Asia specifically by at least 50,000 years ago. The technology therefore certainly had long enough to be able to spread along rivers as far as Southeast Europe. The “civilization which ruled the island and much of the Aegean during the Bronze Age” is much more recent in origin than the period we are concerned with.

    “Crete was colonised from Anatolia”.

    Thanks. But once people were capable of reaching Crete it would have been relatively easy to move rapidly west along the Mediterranean shore-line towards the strait of Gibraltar. I would hazard a guess that improvements in boating technology would have passed rapidly back and forth around the Mediterranean. And, of course, even further.

    There seems to be conflicting information regarding the Iberomaurusian culture. Seems it’s not certain it represents contact across the Mediterranean. Anyway, is it the Early or Late Iberomaurusian culture that shows similarity between Europe and North Africa?

  12. Correct numbers (I bought the study and n=102 not 88) are :

    E-M81 = 45.1% (46/102)
    J1-M267 = 22.5% (23/102)
    R1b-M269 = 10.8% (11/102)
    E-M78 = 5.8% (6/102)
    J2-M67 = 4.9% (5/102)
    R1a-M17 = 1% (1/102)
    R1-M173 = 1% (1/102)
    E-M2 = 7.8% (8/102)
    Q-M242 = 1% (1/102)

  13. According to the most recent and thorough study about MtDna in North Africa “The Complex and Diversified Mitochondrial Gene Pool
    of Berber Populations (12/2008)”:

    “The purpose of this study was to analyze for the first time the mitochondrial gene pool of North African populations in a broad phylogeographic context, in particular through a comparison with population groups from southern Europe, the Saharan areas and the Near East.

    Analysis of the 62 populations included in our haplogroup frequency database revealed
    that Berber populations are genetically close to southern Europeans, but significantly differentiated from sub-Saharan groups.

    This peculiarity is explained by their mitochondrial genetic structure, characterized by an overall high frequency of Western Eurasian haplogroups, a somehow lower frequency of sub-Saharan L lineages, and a significant (but differential) presence of North African haplogroups U6 and M1.

    The genetic proximity observed between the Berbers and southern Europeans reveals that these groups shared a common ancestor.

    Two hypotheses are discussed: one would date these common origins in the Upper Paleolithic with the expansion of anatomically modern humans, from the Near East to both shores of the Mediterranean Sea; the other supports the Near Eastern origin, but would rather date it from the Neolithic, around 10,000 years ago (Ammerman & Cavalli-Sforza 1973; Barbujani et al. 1994; Myles et al. 2005; Rando et al. 1998).

    Common polymorphisms (i.e. those defining H and V lineages) between Berbers and south Europeans also could have been introduced or supported by genetic flows through the Straits of Gibraltar. For example, genetic exchanges could have taken place during prehistory, while European populations retreated from ice sheets and expanded from refuge, around 15,000 years ago (as evidenced by the H and U5b mitochondrial lineages).

    Alternatively, these exchanges could have occurred during history, with the invasion and the occupation during nearly seven centuries (from the 8th to the 15th century) of the Iberian Peninsula by Almoravide then Almohade Muslim Berber troops.”

  14. From where 35% of J came from?

    J1 is predominant over J2…compared to South Europe where J2 is predominant over J1.

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