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)..
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.
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.