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Thread: New mtDNA & Y-DNA frequencies for the Basques

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    Post New mtDNA & Y-DNA frequencies for the Basques

    I have added mtDNA frequencies for the Basques, based on this study featuring 615 samples. The Basques stand out from the rest of Europe by their exceptionally high frequency of haplogroup H (61.5%, including 44% of H1 and H3) and Europe's lowest percentage of haplogroup T (1%). They only have 2% for IWX combined, which is also the lowest frequency in Europe. This indeed suggest a very limited influx of maternal lineages from the Caucasus (where X might have originated), as well as the North Caucasus and Pontic-Caspian steppes (where W and T are especially common). Unfortunately I don't have the breakdown of U subclades, but I expect to find very little if any U2, U3 and U4, all of which are characteristic of the Black Sea region and the Pontic-Caspian steppes.

    The paucity of T is especially telling. Almost every European population has approximately 10% of hg T. The three exceptions are the Finns (4%), the Bosniaks (4%), and the Basques (1%). The Finns and Bosniaks have the lowest percentage of R1b in Europe, both under 5%. That the Basques, who have the highest frequency of R1b in Europe, should have the lowest incidence of mtDNA T is surprising to say the least. Unless, as I have theorised a few years ago, the Basques were conquered by a group of R1b men, who killed most of the local men and procreated with their women. This would lead to a society where the vast majority of the male lineages are foreign (R1b) but almost all the maternal lineages remain indigenous. That also explains why the Basque kept their pre-IE language, as children are more likely to learn their mother tongue, well from their mothers...


    I have also revised the Basques' Y-DNA frequencies using four different sources (Underhill et al., Adams et al., Iberianroots and the study in link above) totalling 597 samples. There are only a few changes, but important ones. I2a decreased from 9% to 5% to the profit of E1b1b (increase from 1% to 2.5%) and G2a, which had 0% and now has 1.5%. We now have a pre-IE admixture suggesting a considerable West Asian admixture, since the total of G2a, J1 and J2 is 4.5%, about the same as the Paleolithic I2a1 (5%). The big question mark is E1b1b (2.5%), which would be Paleolithic as well as Neolithic, or even an influence of neighbouring Cantabria.

    There are a few more oddities among the Basques. Two studies for traces of haplogroup Q (3 samples in total, so 0.5%). Iberianroots listed an individual who belonged to hg H, while the study in link above has one hg L (I double-checked the STR values, and the haplogroup assignment is correct). H + L ? How did those South Asian haplogroups end up there ? Did Q come along through the same migration from the Levant (Phoenicians, Neolithic farmers) ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have also revised the Basques' Y-DNA frequencies using four different sources (Underhill et al., Adams et al., Iberianroots and the study in link above) totalling 597 samples. There are only a few changes, but important ones. I2a decreased from 9% to 5% to the profit of E1b1b (increase from 1% to 2.5%) and G2a, which had 0% and now has 1.5%. We now have a pre-IE admixture suggesting a considerable West Asian admixture, since the total of G2a, J1 and J2 is 4.5%, about the same as the Paleolithic I2a1 (5%). The big question mark is E1b1b (2.5%), which would be Paleolithic as well as Neolithic, or even an influence of neighbouring Cantabria.
    Makes me wonder if the basque samples included people with non full basque ancestry, which is today quite common.

    There are a few more oddities among the Basques. Two studies for traces of haplogroup Q (3 samples in total, so 0.5%). Iberianroots listed an individual who belonged to hg H, while the study in link above has one hg L (I double-checked the STR values, and the haplogroup assignment is correct). H + L ? How did those South Asian haplogroups end up there ? Did Q come along through the same migration from the Levant (Phoenicians, Neolithic farmers) ?
    There are also gypsies in the basque country, they speak their own langauge called Erromintxela. So, again, makes me doubt about the validity of such samples. Seems like these so-calles scientists are eagar for exoticness, instead of going to the pure racial stock of the people in question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    There are also gypsies in the basque country, they speak their own langauge called Erromintxela. So, again, makes me doubt about the validity of such samples. Seems like these so-calles scientists are eagar for exoticness, instead of going to the pure racial stock of the people in question.
    Well, actually the H and L samples do not come from official studies by geneticists, by Iberianroots (commercial sample) and the doctoral thesis of Kristin Leigh Young in link in the OP. In the latter, the paper says "DNA samples were collected in mountain villages throughout the four Basque provinces of northern Spain by Dr. A. Apraiz, under the support of a National Geographic Society Grant to the University of Kansas Laboratory of Biological Anthropology." The L sample came from Gipuzkoa. However I am not aware of the presence of haplogroup L among the Gypsies. They normally belong exclusively to hg H1a (or European haplogroups).

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    I said in the other post G2a wasn't probably absent between the Basques, and It seems I was right. 1.5% is slightly higher than expected (0.5%-1%), so I'm pretty sure the values will decrease a bit as more samples come. I also think I2a will come up,at least, to 7%. The actual percent it's too low.

    About the rest, just minimal changes (meaningless), although the maternal linages are a great improve and very interesting. Considering all the information as whole about the Basques we know today, it doesn't surprise me they are the most purest Europeans.

    Fascinating population.

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    The much lesser amount of I2*/I2a seems to confirm to me that the original centre of Basque was more along the central Pyrenees (around today's Aragon, see map), which have a much higher concentration of I2*/I2a. That may be a boost to the theory that Iberian was related to Basque... Of course, y-DNA percentages in Navarre could help confirm that.

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    Today it's quite obvious non Basque Iberians are related to them. The Dienekes' K=12 with Sardinian and Basques components, did not show less than 20% Basque ancestry between Spaniards. Focussing in the Northeast side, the percent was higher than 30%, and probably if we could check more Catalans (depending on the region), Aragonese, Navarrese, Riojans, Cantabrians...even Asturians, we could see very high percents.

    We don't need an Y-DNA table. I share genomes with a Navarran woman at 23andme and she almost clusters with Basques. They are the most similar people.

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    Some parts of Catalonia have hotspots of I2, specially in the Pyrenees. (9.5% in Bortzerriak, Navarra; 9.7% in Chazetania, Aragon; 8% in Val d'Aran, Catalunya; 2.9% in Alt Urgell, Catalunya; and 8.1% in Baixa Cerdanya, Catalunya)

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    About haplogroup U, I supose Basques belong almost enterely to U5, more likely U5b subclades. Will see when the information comes in. I also wouldn't be surprised to find substantial U2e (Paleolithic) in comparison with the rest.

    It's very interesting this source has collected 6% K, when for example 23andme says 4% (well, of course it's possible). I always wondered if my subclade could be quite present between the Basques, since it's very widespread in all Europe and perhaps they show higher levels than the average.

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    Behar et al. published The Basque Paradigm: Genetic Evidence of a Maternal Continuity in the Franco-Cantabrian Region since Pre-Neolithic Times in March 2012. The abstract says :

    "We identified six mtDNA haplogroups, H1j1, H1t1, H2a5a1, H1av1, H3c2a, and H1e1a1, which are autochthonous to the Franco-Cantabrian region and, more specifically, to Basque-speaking populations. We detected signals of the expansion of these haplogroups at ∼4,000 years before present (YBP) and estimated their separation from the pan-European gene pool at ∼8,000 YBP, antedating the Indo-European arrival to the region. Our results clearly support the hypothesis of a partial genetic continuity of contemporary Basques with the preceding Paleolithic/Mesolithic settlers of their homeland."


    The supplemental data contains the list of all the complete mtDNA tested with their haplogroup assignments and deep subclades for 420 hg H samples. The samples are not only Basque, but also Gascon and Castillan.

    It is remarkable though that out of 129 H subclades, they could only associate 6 of them with the pre-Neolithic inhabitants of the Franco-Cantabrian region, especially since the samples contained 54 H1 subclades and 22 H3 subclades. It would be surprising if the other H1 and H3 subclades didn't originate in the region as well. I suppose that they meant that those six subclades already existed when Mesolithic people resettled western and central Europe after the last glacial period, while the others might only have emerged from the native H1* and H3* in the last 8000 years. New mutations happen all the time, so it is possible that some deep subclades only developed only in the last centuries, while others didn't change at all for thousands of years.

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    Hi all, I would like to apologize for being a little late in this discussion. But I am quite fascinated by the origins of the Basque speakers. I wanted to make my own interpretations, theories and additions to the origins of Basques, and wanted others to hear what I think- I'm going to go and add to Maciamo's theory, that the original Basque men were slaughtered by an invading tribe. This, to me, seems quite likely.


    While there may be insufficient evidence at this time; I'm going to say that the haplogroup I2a1, also seen in the Basque, Navarrese, Aragonese and Catalan populations, is the ACTUAL, the ORIGINAL Basque, Y-DNA haplogroup. YES, get this- And the R1b Y-DNA that is over 80% common, as Maciamo suggested, was spread there by Celtic invaders. I2a, also seems to be more ancient, and almost exclusively rare in Europe, than the Basque R1b counterparts, and is found in such, as Iberia and Sardinia.

    I2a is also seen in paleo-European populations, in extremely high frequencies such as in Sardinia, where proven remnants of an ancient Iberian dialect or Basque dialect have been found on the island. The Nuragi population of Sardinia may have been a tribe of the Basque/Iberians, as well as the Balari tribe. (who were reported by Greeks to have migrated from the Iberian peninsula, long before IE speakers.)

    It is possible that Celtiberian R1b men slaughtered the original I2a Basque speaking men, procreated with their women, and only left a few I2a (original) Basque men in the population.


    Also, I know Sardinia was once conquered by the Aragonese Empire, in the 6th century, so it is also possible that I2a Aragonese/Catalan men may have spread their seed on the island there.


    Does this hypothesis sound legitimate? Please do not take my word for it, and come up with your own opinions and interpretations. I realize the amateurishness of this theory; but I found this quite exciting, and it seemed like something that nobody had noticed before.


    My personal conclusion is; due to the invasions and rapings of indigenous people. This would be a better explaination for why the Basques have such a mystery of themselves and do not know their cultural origins. For their invading Celtiberian forefathers were probably more unlikely and apathetic to care about such things; as explaining the history of the Basque population to their children and how they came to be.


    Also, in Europe, I2a is also found in extremely high frequencies in the Balkans, particularly Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks. (I2a2) Adding to that, as well as higher frequences of I2a in these Balkanic populations, there is also extremely low frequency of mtDNA T; in both the Basque and Bosnian populations, where this Y-DNA haplogroup I2a seems almost exclusively found, in higher frequencies than the rest of Europe. (Possibly a connection?) I believe that I2a is found in Indo-Europeans, but is actually of pre-IE origin. The Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians may have been born out of a mix of indigenous people and Indo-Europeans who took Indo-European languages. And they later contributed to the vast amount of I2a in the Balkans, with the later Slavic invasions and mixtures.



    Another reasononing why the Basque language may have managed to survive the Roman Empire, is probably because these Celtic-Basque hybrid offspring were confused for being converted Celts, and the Romans did not bother to assimilate these people; so the ancient dialect may have managed to survive in small quantities. Navarre was also a difficult area to navigate and venture into, especially for Romans and Celts, so if these indigenous people lost their mother tongue language being forced into Romanization, they could have easily escaped Romanization and fled back into Aragon/Navarre and once again be able to re-learn their lost language, by their indigenous brothers who were never caught.


    My whole theory is that within these paleo-European populations, the men had extremely high amounts of Y-DNA I2a, and the women had extremely low amounts of mtDna T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancon View Post
    I2a is also seen in paleo-European populations, in extremely high frequencies such as in Sardinia, where proven remnants of an ancient Iberian dialect or Basque dialect have been found on the island. The Nuragi population of Sardinia may have been a tribe of the Basque/Iberians, as well as the Balari tribe. (who were reported by Greeks to have migrated from the Iberian peninsula, long before IE speakers.)
    Very well possible;
    I also suspect that a good part of the paleo-Basque/Pyrenean folks are now in Sardinia but i wouldnt associate the R1b (DF27) folks that drove them out with Indo-Europeans since the Iberians, Aquitani and modern-Basques did not / do not speak an Indo-European language; I would associate them with the non-Indo-European Bell-beaker folks (Chalcolithic); The Indo-European R1b (which spans ancient Indo-European areas as a modern stable element) are R1b-U106, R1b-L21 and R1b-U152; But the corpses will reveal the full story;

    For Sardinia also keep in mind (apart from I2-M26) that the Bonnanaro-culture (1800-1600BC) of the Nuragic-civilization has strong affinities to mainland Italy (Po-valley/Alps/Apennine) of the Remedello-Rinaldone complex; And than there is the Sherden [SHRDN] Nora-stele (Sea-peoples) link that i would not discredit at all;

    Nuragic votive-ship Bronze-age - Sardinia (?Sea-peoples?)

    Nuragic warrior Bronze-age - Sardinia (?Sea-peoples?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    Very well possible;
    I also suspect that a good part of the paleo-Basque/Pyrenean folks are now in Sardinia but i wouldnt associate the R1b (DF27) folks that drove them out with Indo-Europeans since the Iberians, Aquitani and modern-Basques did not / do not speak an Indo-European language; I would associate them with the non-Indo-European Bell-beaker folks (Chalcolithic); The Indo-European R1b (which spans ancient Indo-European areas as a modern stable element) are R1b-U106, R1b-L21 and R1b-U152; But the corpses will reveal the full story;
    DF27, L21 and U152 are only one mutation apart from each other... so we're looking at a pretty short time frame, in a relatively limited geographic area. While I agree with the idea of DF27 having a strong non-IE flavour to it, how can DF27 be, let's say, "inherently" non-IE and L21/U152 be "inherently" IE? P312 folks must have been either exclusively IE or exclusively non-IE... and then through unknown events and circumstances, either DF27 turned basque or L21 and U152 turned IE, each scenario being as mind boggling as the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Behar et al. published The Basque Paradigm: Genetic Evidence of a Maternal Continuity in the Franco-Cantabrian Region since Pre-Neolithic Times in March 2012. The abstract says :

    "We identified six mtDNA haplogroups, H1j1, H1t1, H2a5a1, H1av1, H3c2a, and H1e1a1, which are autochthonous to the Franco-Cantabrian region and, more specifically, to Basque-speaking populations. We detected signals of the expansion of these haplogroups at ∼4,000 years before present (YBP) and estimated their separation from the pan-European gene pool at ∼8,000 YBP, antedating the Indo-European arrival to the region. Our results clearly support the hypothesis of a partial genetic continuity of contemporary Basques with the preceding Paleolithic/Mesolithic settlers of their homeland."


    The supplemental data contains the list of all the complete mtDNA tested with their haplogroup assignments and deep subclades for 420 hg H samples. The samples are not only Basque, but also Gascon and Castillan.

    It is remarkable though that out of 129 H subclades, they could only associate 6 of them with the pre-Neolithic inhabitants of the Franco-Cantabrian region, especially since the samples contained 54 H1 subclades and 22 H3 subclades. It would be surprising if the other H1 and H3 subclades didn't originate in the region as well. I suppose that they meant that those six subclades already existed when Mesolithic people resettled western and central Europe after the last glacial period, while the others might only have emerged from the native H1* and H3* in the last 8000 years. New mutations happen all the time, so it is possible that some deep subclades only developed only in the last centuries, while others didn't change at all for thousands of years.
    "I suppose that they meant that those six subclades already existed when Mesolithic people resettled western and central Europe after the last glacial period, while the others might only have emerged from the native H1* and H3* in the last 8000 years."

    If there was a forager -> farmer transition among only some of the Mesolithic foragers there may have been a dramatic bottleneck effect.



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    I am still standing by my theory; adding to Maciamo's. Only that I believe there is credibility in this; but from my own speculation, I would believe that the original Basque men were slaughtered; and originally belonged to the Mesolithic Y-DNA I2a, as I stated before. Since it is the second most common Y-DNA haplogroup of the Basques, outside of R1b. It makes sense that the Basques may have come from a Mesolithic civilization, considering their language is pre-Indo-European and believed to be very ancient. I believe that Celtiberians (similar to the Galicians or Cantabrians), slaughtered the original Iberian/Aquitanian/Basque men, and procreated with their women. And the women chose to teach their children the original language as Maciamo theorized.

    I theorize this would only leave a few original I2a men; which explains its high frequency in an unusual area. That means 5% of the Basque population would have the original genetics of the Basque people, if I am correct. And the majority of the Basque people (80% R1b) are hybrid children from Celtic/Indo-European invaders.

    I really want more research and investigation into my theory. It would really open up a portal to ancient Europe. My theory is that the Basque people are relatives to the ancient Sardinians, who are now assimilated into an Italo-Indo-European culture.

    Edit: what I really want is for Maciamo to comment on, and investigate my theory. I strongly believe that the original Basque men were Y-DNA I2a. I think this would also explain the lack of mtDna T in Basque females.
    Last edited by Melancon; 24-09-14 at 10:25. Reason: Maciamo comment

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    On contrary I believe most of pre-R1B population was not slaughtered. Instead some R1B got to rule Basques, married in, made many elite children. In few generations new rulers got basqueified. Those children had far better chances at mating being elite. If Basques were isolated people with little gene exchange in further centuries, you may expect R1B taking over big time.
    If there was a mass slaughter I dont believe the language was kept. I think at beginning of formation of R1B basques new R1B guys were not over 20% of total.

    Look for mass slaughter and rape in places where IE language replaced the older one. Even then not always you will find that.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    We now have a pre-IE admixture suggesting a considerable West Asian admixture, since the total of G2a, J1 and J2 is 4.5%, about the same as the Paleolithic I2a1 (5%)

    There is mesolithic I2a1b DNA in western Europe, but no I2a1a.
    There is neolithic I2a1a DNA in western Europe, therefore I would consider I2a1 in Basques as neolithic and not paleolithic,
    which makes 9.5 % neolithic in Basques and no paleolithic.
    There is no sign IE would have killed more indogenious people in Basque country than elsewhere.
    What is particular is the mtDNA and the language.
    Most R1b in Basque seems to be DF27.
    DF27 is also in eastern Iberia.
    600 BC when Greek colonisers arrived, a non-IE language was spoken in this area as well.
    600 BC there was in invasion of La Tene culture in northwest Iberia, with Celtic language, but there seems to be no specific DNA trace for this invasion.
    It seems to me that unlike other R1b tribes like U152 or L21, DF27 did not spread Celtic culture nor language.
    Maybe DF27 were simple cattle herders, no smiths and no warriors, who mixed with locals (and their wives) and adopted local language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    We now have a pre-IE admixture suggesting a considerable West Asian admixture, since the total of G2a, J1 and J2 is 4.5%, about the same as the Paleolithic I2a1 (5%)

    There is mesolithic I2a1b DNA in western Europe, but no I2a1a.
    There is neolithic I2a1a DNA in western Europe, therefore I would consider I2a1 in Basques as neolithic and not paleolithic,
    which makes 9.5 % neolithic in Basques and no paleolithic.
    This logic in particular doesn't make any sense. We've seen I2-M423 mutation appear in the Loschbour hunter gatherer. We've seen I2/I appear in Swedish hunter gatherers. We've seen a male bias for G2a-P15 appear among farming communities. (downstream SNPs not tested) Local I2/I1 communities have been mixed among them.

    Where on earth do you get the conclusion that I-M26 is neolithic? I suppose the M26 mutation could be as old as the spread of farming but who cares? The evidence is overwhelming that these individuals were not originally farmers, and did not enter Europe for the first time with farming from the Mid-East.

    The spread of haplogroup I seems linked with the Magdalenian era, though it's certainly possible the I1 and I2 guy did not exist then.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Melancon View Post
    While there may be insufficient evidence at this time; I'm going to say that the haplogroup I2a1, also seen in the Basque, Navarrese, Aragonese and Catalan populations, is the ACTUAL, the ORIGINAL Basque, Y-DNA haplogroup. YES, get this- And the R1b Y-DNA that is over 80% common, as Maciamo suggested, was spread there by Celtic invaders. I2a, also seems to be more ancient, and almost exclusively rare in Europe, than the Basque R1b counterparts, and is found in such, as Iberia and Sardinia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Melancon View Post
    Does this hypothesis sound legitimate? Please do not take my word for it, and come up with your own opinions and interpretations. I realize the amateurishness of this theory; but I found this quite exciting, and it seemed like something that nobody had noticed before.
    Beat ya to it. Me last year:

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    What's interesting about the Basques is that they have some of the highest I2-M26 diversity, but not particularly high R1b diversity. It seems plausible that they could have originally been an I2-M26 dominant population, which drifted to become an R1b dominant population due to bottlenecks/expansions/foreign drift/etc.
    Although, you add the extra layer of specificity to identify the Celts as the origin of Basque R1b. I'm not so sure. It seems like it could have drifted before the formation of Celtic, maybe within late Bell Beaker or early Tumulus culture or something (it's still tough to pin down the spread of language and haplogroups with archaeological cultures). Or it could have been the Celts, or have a multi-layered history. Who knows?

    Also, although invasion and rape was no doubt a common occurrence during the Iron Age and earlier, I don't think we need to postulate massive invasion/rape scenarios to explain why a population had a particular haplogroup become dominant. There are many more effects, like drift, that can magnify particular lineages, especially when the population is small. Drift may not be random in some cases, either. A given lineage could have a cultural or genetic advantage, as well. Meaning that, by and large, the women could have been more than willing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melancon View Post
    Also, in Europe, I2a is also found in extremely high frequencies in the Balkans, particularly Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks. (I2a2) Adding to that, as well as higher frequences of I2a in these Balkanic populations, there is also extremely low frequency of mtDNA T; in both the Basque and Bosnian populations, where this Y-DNA haplogroup I2a seems almost exclusively found, in higher frequencies than the rest of Europe. (Possibly a connection?) I believe that I2a is found in Indo-Europeans, but is actually of pre-IE origin. The Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians may have been born out of a mix of indigenous people and Indo-Europeans who took Indo-European languages. And they later contributed to the vast amount of I2a in the Balkans, with the later Slavic invasions and mixtures.
    I2a is very young in the Balkans. The Basques have more I2a diversity than, say, the Serbs. Take from that what you will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melancon View Post
    It makes sense that the Basques may have come from a Mesolithic civilization, considering their language is pre-Indo-European and believed to be very ancient.
    Not more ancient than the metal ages, though, as Basque has its own words for metallurgy and agriculture. If it was a Mesolithic European language, we would expect it to have needed to borrow these words from invaders. Instead, it seems to have either brought them, or absorbed them not too long before IE came along.

    It's also worth noting that autosomally, Basques are more "Neolithic farmer" than "Mesolithic hunter-gatherer." The northwestern Uralic populations like Finns, Saami, and Estonians are more closely related to the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers than the Basques are, and that includes a comparison to an ancient sample from Mesolithic Spain. See the discussion here.

    Why I2a then, when I2a is a Mesolithic lineage, or earlier? Turns out that the I2a present in Basques, I2a-M26, shows a modern diversity pattern indicitive of expansion in the Neolithic. And in ancient Neolithic samples, we've found tons of I2a-M26, while Mesolithic samples have been I2a-M423 and I2-M223 instead. That indicates that I2a-M26 is likely a Mesolithic marker that spread within a largely Neolithic population--much as R1b is quite possibly a metal-age marker that spread within that same population later.

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    My only analysis right now is; that it seems that ancient civilizations that held Y-DNA I2 men as the majority, also seem to have had women with almost no mtDna T abundance. This is odd; and there may be a significant connection here.

    The mtDna T seen in the Sardinians may be recent, and attributed to Y-DNA I2 men procreating with Indo-European women, and to a lesser extent, Afro-Asiatic (Berber) women; and may not be exclusive to the pre-Indo-European Y-DNA I2 populations. As I hypothesized before.

    I want more studies, opinions and insights into this theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    Beat ya to it. Me last year:



    Although, you add the extra layer of specificity to identify the Celts as the origin of Basque R1b. I'm not so sure. It seems like it could have drifted before the formation of Celtic, maybe within late Bell Beaker or early Tumulus culture or something (it's still tough to pin down the spread of language and haplogroups with archaeological cultures). Or it could have been the Celts, or have a multi-layered history. Who knows?

    Also, although invasion and rape was no doubt a common occurrence during the Iron Age and earlier, I don't think we need to postulate massive invasion/rape scenarios to explain why a population had a particular haplogroup become dominant. There are many more effects, like drift, that can magnify particular lineages, especially when the population is small. Drift may not be random in some cases, either. A given lineage could have a cultural or genetic advantage, as well. Meaning that, by and large, the women could have been more than willing.



    I2a is very young in the Balkans. The Basques have more I2a diversity than, say, the Serbs. Take from that what you will.



    Not more ancient than the metal ages, though, as Basque has its own words for metallurgy and agriculture. If it was a Mesolithic European language, we would expect it to have needed to borrow these words from invaders. Instead, it seems to have either brought them, or absorbed them not too long before IE came along.

    It's also worth noting that autosomally, Basques are more "Neolithic farmer" than "Mesolithic hunter-gatherer." The northwestern Uralic populations like Finns, Saami, and Estonians are more closely related to the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers than the Basques are, and that includes a comparison to an ancient sample from Mesolithic Spain. See the discussion here.

    Why I2a then, when I2a is a Mesolithic lineage, or earlier? Turns out that the I2a present in Basques, I2a-M26, shows a modern diversity pattern indicitive of expansion in the Neolithic. And in ancient Neolithic samples, we've found tons of I2a-M26, while Mesolithic samples have been I2a-M423 and I2-M223 instead. That indicates that I2a-M26 is likely a Mesolithic marker that spread within a largely Neolithic population--much as R1b is quite possibly a metal-age marker that spread within that same population later.
    Is there any paper on that high I2a diversity and variance in Basque people?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.


    Today's Basque mtDNA is only around 4% K, but 5,000 years ago it was 17-24% which reversely trended would possibly indicate a much larger number. Wouldn't it make sense that in the fertile crescent there were different areas and tribes that originally were either all K, J or T and only the J/K tribe migrating towards the Pyrenees?

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