The M78 Y chromosome and M1 Mt DNA as makers for the expansion of the Halfan culture.

I managed to access the distribution maps  of M1 recently, and decided to assemble it with the information on the M78 Y chromosome. These, in my opinion, definitely show an upper Egyptian focal point for M1, M1a and M78, which is supported by the coalescence dates on the mt DNA (Y chromosomes are slightly out)..

m1-dist21

The coalescence time estimates for M1 is 36.8 ± 7.1 ky, but this is known to have originated in Asia now, so the hot spot in Egypt seems to be from a secondary distribution point. The coalescence for M1b is 25.7 ± 6.6 ky, and for M1a is 22.6 ± 8.1 ky. M1a is present in upper Egypt at roughly the ratio to M1 as it is in Ethiopians, which would again suggest that it moved out from North East Africa keeping company with M1 and m78 in a large population migration

The M1b  (M1c to Gonzalez) marked here is  believed to somewhat older than the other M1 subclades, and doesn’t seem to be part of the Pleistocene expansion from upper Egypt, it has a North west African origin. I’m assuming the date for the start of expansion to be in the 24,000 years or more, as it reached North Africa/Iberia  (Ibero Maurussian culture) and the near East (Kebaran culture) about 22,000 years ago, so any later would be logically impossible. M1a certainly seems to fall into this era. This North East African expansion would also make much more sense of the M1 and M1a in Portugal than an East African origin for M1a.

Also of note is how Mt DNa U derived haplotypes follow M1 and m78 into east Africa. This seems to have entered North East Africa first, with no entry across the red sea, logically suggesting it was part of the same population expansion from the Northern Nile valley. I do find the faint clusters of U6 and  M1b in the near east quite odd. Possibly explicable by much later movements between north Africa and the near east in the Phoenician era.

Olivieri also calculates the coalescence date for M1a2 as 24.0 ± 5.7 ky, and for M1a1 20.6 ± 3.4 ky. This would also place M1a2 in North East Africa prior to the expansion, and possibly M1a1,  depending on when the migration penetrated east Africa.

 em781

The m78 distribution pattern is a pretty good match for M1 and M1a. As always, the age for the Y chromosome is too recent- a bugbear of mine in all Y DNA studies- with an upper age estimate of 20ky (18.6, 17.3 to 20ky) but since it’s distribution is such a good match to the mt DNA I’ll presume that it’s more likely that it matches the 24ky for the start of the population expansion.

The expansion of this population seems to be as a result of either it’s new microlithic tool culture, or (more likely) it’s new diet that was based on wild grain. Its focal point seems to be upper Egypt, around Wadi Kubbaniya. The population expansion seemed to run of of steam in Northern Syria (the much later Natufians); possibly overcome by an expanding wave of proto-Neolithic Anatolians that left no visible traces of their upper Egyptian ancestry by the time the Neolithic expansion overtook the near East.

8 responses to “The M78 Y chromosome and M1 Mt DNA as makers for the expansion of the Halfan culture.

  1. The population expansion seemed to run of of steam in Northern Syria (the much later Natufians); possibly overcome by an expanding wave of proto-Neolithic Anatolians that left no visible traces of their upper Egyptian ancestry by the time the Neolithic expansion overtook the near East.

    That’s not apparently true for the case of E-M78, which managed to reach as far as the Balcans (and beyond) in high apportions (and is indeed present in the Levant and to some extent Anatolia).

    Other notes:

    M1: I was not really aware of how much African (rather than West Asian) is this clade in its distribution. Thanks for the maps therefore.

    Halfan: it’s obviously at the origin of Y-DNA E-M78, mtDNA M1 and U6a expansion – but possibly not U6 as a whole, IMO, as this clade is most diverese in Iberia by large – and there are other Iberian derived mtDNA major clades in North Africa: H and V specially. It’s surely also at the origin of Afroasiatic languages, at least in the Mediterranean area.

    From your post on Halfan, based on the dates mentioned, it would be easy to believe that it’s proto-Oranian (rather than proto-Capsian and maybe even Oranian-derived). But this contradicts not just the apparent genetic evidence for an Iberian focus but also the archaeological one (i.e. Oranian would relate to Solutrean: similar retouch, even similar points in Iberian Gravetto-Solutrean).

    I guess this could be solved from the archaeological viewpoint claiming that Solutrean actually derives from Oranian (the early layers of Mediterranean Iberian Solutrean, not yet Gravettized, at Mallaetes is virtually as old as the ones from Dordogne). But we still have would have the issue of Cro-Magnon types being clearly older in Europe than in Africa (and mostly related to Gravettian, older than Solutrean by some 8000 years) plus the gentic issues mentioned before.

    As you know, I have so far argued that Oranian would be a derivative from Iberian Gravetto-Solutrean but I could be driven to think otherwise if the archaeology of North Africa clearly shows the opposite. The case is that I still don’t have clear that Oranian, with its coastal distribution and likely affinity to European Solutrean, (and not just Capsian, with its interior distribution and rather clear eastern origin) is derievd from Halfan. The evidence is contraditctory and, I would think, pretty much inconclusive for a Halfan origin of Oranian.

    In any case, I really enjoy reading on North African archaeology and genetics in your blog, as there are not many sites dedicated to that most intriguing issue. Good job.

    • Why thank you Luis. I do take the party line that the IM culture was from the Halfan, I know we disagree on that, but I think the genetics support it.

      The M78 in Europe is V13, if I remeber right, none else. It suggests that possibly as few as one Natufian male made it into the founder Neolithic Turkish population, as no other m78 variant seem to have made it past Turkey. The traces of Natufian culture peter out in Southern Anatolia too. Their crania are quite different to the Neolithic settlers that came later, they seem essentailly mxed race (Loring Brace) until the later Natufian eras.

      I’ll be doing another entry on IM era entrants to Iberia at some point soon, kids allowing.

  2. PS.- On Iberian Solutrean, for your reference (from “Historia de España 1. Prehistory”, F. Jordá Cerdá et al, 1989 – a university manual).

    The oldest sites where Solutrean typical “flat retouch” are found are two:

    1. Laugerie Haute (Dordogne, France): 21,710 (+/- 650) BP (uncalibrated)
    2. Les Mallaetes (Valencia, Spain): 20,890 (+/- 300) BP (uncalibrated)

    Guess that the modernly calibrated dates would be like c. 25,000 years ago, apparently older than Oranian (Iberomaurusian).

    This early Solutrean is rather rudimentary and could well be argued to be an evolution on Aurignacian and Gravettian technologies (and even resemble Aterian in some aspects – unsure), though the first all-covering retouch points are already found then. The full or middle Solutrean has somewhat later datations (20,180 BP, uncalibrated) and already show the typical “laurel” Solutrean points. A latter subphase (no dates given) in this middle Solutrean in Iberia has already back-tipped points with “wings” (that seem arrow points and are also typical of Oranian).

    In the two Iberian (Valencian) sites the third phase (upper or evolved Solutrean) reduces the “wings” of the points, most significatively, so from heart-shaped they evolve into triangle shapes instead. Also the laurel leaf points become less and less common. The final subphase is when Solutrean becomes strongly Gravettized (all the hinterland was mostly Gravettian with only some rather isolated Solutrean artifacts). No dates given for this period but must be long before 14,000 BP, when full Magdalenian arrives there (and two layers of Gravetto-Solutrean, sometimes said to be “Magdalenian”, are in between, at least in the reference cave of Parpalló).

    Besides the two archetypical Valencian sites, Solutrean is also found in some sites in Murcia and, more rarely, in Málaga. It is also found in Portugal, around the Tago river, and, of course, in the Cantabrian region where it appears to have dual origins (Asturian Solutrean relates apparently with that of Valencia, while the rest derives from that of Aquitaine). Also, just for the record, a Catalan facies of Solutrean is reported in Girona province and appears to be an autonomous variant of Pyrenean (Franco-Cantabrian) typical Solutrean.

    Cro-Magnon types are reported for both Gravettian and Solutrean in Mediterranean Iberia (and this is the only area in Europe I know of where Cro-Magnon type is reported after Gravettian – though I may be worng in this).

  3. I do take the party line that the IM culture was from the Halfan, I know we disagree on that, but I think the genetics support it.

    Well, I have doubts. Thats what I’d like to clarify, and, in this regard, your blog is of great help. I think that genetics is very contradictory and unclear, specially re. mtDNA, with most North African clades (U6, H, V) appearing to be of European origin, specifically of Iberian origin in fact. Only the L haplogroups (c. 25%), some clearly Neolithic clades, derived U6a and K (which could be European or West Asian by origin) escape this very apparent pattern.

    The M78 in Europe is V13, if I remeber right, none else. It suggests that possibly as few as one Natufian male made it into the founder Neolithic Turkish population, as no other m78 variant seem to have made it past Turkey.

    Well, it’s hard to believe that such a huge number of descendants would came from “one Natufian male” only. Probability laws seem to demand a bigger number and it’s in any case very significative that they appear to have been there, already in high numbers, right at the origination of European Neolithic in Thessaly (Sesklo area is very high in E-V13, something like 40% from memory).

    By Cruciani 2004, where the analysis of Y-STR is emphasized (this is reviewed in Cruciani 2006 but doesn’t make a big difference for our case), a big deal of West Asian E-M78 (E-V13 to be precise) directly connects at several nodes with West Asian and even some North African E-V13. So guess that the “single man” hypothesis does not fit well.

    There is also a big deal of European E-M81 (mostly in the West, I think), wich directly connects with North African clades. And also smaller ammounts of E-M34, (which has an starlike shape wth central node shared by East Africa and Europe – but guess could have been mediated by West Asia) and even some E-M35* (i.e. E-M78* probably, whose Y-STR strucure appears to be centered in Eastern or Tropical Africa – but being a para-haplogroup is more difficult to conclude anthing).

    I’ll be doing another entry on IM era entrants to Iberia at some point soon, kids allowing.

    Cool. I’m sure it’ll be interesting to read.

    • I was more making a light hearted observation about no huge population movement rushing into Anatolia will all haplogroups blazing than being serious when I typed one man ‘one man’.;)

      The population does seem to have stalled at southern Turkey. The Sub Saharan affinities of the Natufians had all gone by the time the neolithic started. I’m I’m picking up snippets of evidence from the escargotieres and DNA that some population was expanding out of Anatolia just as the Natufians reached them, which would have been about 14k ago. You get snail eating arriving in Greece along with the lentils and pistachios etc in Franchthi cave. I suspect the snail shells mark the path of the expanding first wave from Turkey. It would explain the changes to North Africans at the end of the IM before the Capsian started, and why Taforalt shows mt DNA with less time depth than the M1 and U.

  4. Well, I don’t have enough info on such anthropometrical details of West Asian Meso-/Neolithic to judge. Certainly the aboundance of E-V13 in the Balcanic Neolithic (and until today) appears a clear case of founder effect in any case (but it’s still somewhat mysterious how it happened).

    I understand that Natufian and PPNA are one and the same and that PPNB appears to represent a wave from Anatolia or rather Northern Syria. But all that from memory only.

    I would not build up any theory just on snail cusine. It’s a widespread phenomenon in the Epipaleolithic/Mesolithic, inclluding many different populations. But who knows?

  5. Can you give me the sources for this article, Mathilda?

    • Can you give me the sources for this article, Mathilda?

      Own observation from multiple papers and movements of stone tool cultures. Most of the papers I used are on the blog somewhere.

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