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Thread: The Mediterranean route into Europe (Paschou et al. 2014)

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    The Mediterranean route into Europe (Paschou et al. 2014)

    Dienekes posted a link to this study, based on modern DNA distributions: The Mediterranean route into Europe (Paschou et al. 2014)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...11111.abstract

    The abstract:

    The Neolithic populations, which colonized Europe approximately 9,000 y ago, presumably migrated from Near East to Anatolia and from there to Central Europe through Thrace and the Balkans. An alternative route would have been island hopping across the Southern European coast. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed genome-wide DNA polymorphisms on populations bordering the Mediterranean coast and from Anatolia and mainland Europe. We observe a striking structure correlating genes with geography around the Mediterranean Sea with characteristic east to west clines of gene flow. Using population network analysis, we also find that the gene flow from Anatolia to Europe was through Dodecanese, Crete, and the Southern European coast, compatible with the hypothesis that a maritime coastal route was mainly used for the migration of Neolithic farmers to Europe.


    The supplementary data can be found here:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/20...11111.sapp.pdf

    Here is part of Dienekes' commentary:
    "It is hard to imagine that there were ever any major impediments to gene flow between Anatolia and the Balkans as the Aegean islands and Hellespont are not formidable barriers to any culture with even rudimentary technology. Hopefully in the future it will become possible to look at ancient DNA from Greece and Anatolia and directly determine how the transfer of the Neolithic package into Europe took place and how much of the ancestry of modern populations stems from the Neolithic inhabitants vs. more recent shuffling of genes in either direction."


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    Genetic connections:
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    Wow, so many Greek bros in that paper.

    Democritus strong.
    Οι ηδονές είναι θνητές, οι αρετές αθάνατες.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Genetic connections:
    Genetic connections.JPG
    Very cool, isn't it? I tried to make a copy of the three dimensional PCA plot but it wasn't all that legible. It's nice that we have all these new samples from southern Europe, as well as ones from Yale which aren't very well known.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Very cool, isn't it? I tried to make a copy of the three dimensional PCA plot but it wasn't all that legible. It's nice that we have all these new samples from southern Europe, as well as ones from Yale which aren't very well known.
    I think this one is clear enough.



    As a side note, there perhaps should be more quality control with sampling. Lots of Chuvashes included in this PCA have clearly been russified to the extent they've become genetically Slavic. Finns appear to have done the same to one Dane.

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    The Cappadocians seems the key to this......are they the cimmerians who arrived there in the period of middle iron-age from the crimea, are they the medes from caspian-sea area (BMAC), are they the assyrians from mesopotamia?

    maybe its goes with this
    http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot...thic-site.html
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salbrox View Post
    I think this one is clear enough.



    As a side note, there perhaps should be more quality control with sampling. Lots of Chuvashes included in this PCA have clearly been russified to the extent they've become genetically Slavic. Finns appear to have done the same to one Dane.
    Wow, look at Sardinians, so separate and distant from others. They might be the purest ancient farmers in existence, left almost intact on the island for some reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Very cool, isn't it? I tried to make a copy of the three dimensional PCA plot but it wasn't all that legible. It's nice that we have all these new samples from southern Europe, as well as ones from Yale which aren't very well known.
    Egypt has direct connections to Crete (also known from Minoan civilization records), but surprisingly to Sicily too. I know Egypt was producing lots of food for Rome. Perhaps Sicily was a shipping hub?

    Equally surprising are the extensive connections from Palestine to Europe. It might be indication for the whole Near East. I would gladly want to see connections from Lebanon (old Phoenician), but they missed this important spot, and also Varna and Cucuteni cultures, coastal Bulgaria and Romania. A bit disappointing in sight selection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salbrox View Post
    I think this one is clear enough.



    As a side note, there perhaps should be more quality control with sampling. Lots of Chuvashes included in this PCA have clearly been russified to the extent they've become genetically Slavic. Finns appear to have done the same to one Dane.
    Thanks, Salbrox.

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    Sicily was also a granary for Rome; at the time, the climate was different, and the soil hadn't yet been worn out, so it was very fertile. I don't know if that explains it, though. I would have to check on the shipping lanes at that time, to see if the grain ships from Egypt stopped to pick up additional grain in Sicily. Ido know that even up until the time of Cleopatra, the ships had to follow the winds and currents, and so it was almost impossible to sail directly from Egypt to Italy. Cleopatra's ships, when she went to Rome, had to sail east and then up along the coast of the Levant till they reached the outskirts of the Aegean, when they could turn west. Then, they either hugged the coastline of the peninsula up to Naples or Rome, or they headed for Sicily and, if they were going to the western Mediterranean, they made for the Straits of Messina, a dangerous passage at that time.

    I think this explains the point made in the paper that the Mediterranean actually acted as a barrier to gene flow for much of history; the northern Mediterranean coast was not directly influenced very much by the southern Mediterranean coast. It was usually mediated through the Levant or Gibraltar. I've been saying that for five years too, not that anyone was paying any attention. :) Sailing obviously improved, of course, because by the time of the Saracen invasions, they did sail from Tunisia to Sicily. However, the Saracens who raided the northern Mediterranean coast of southern France and nearby Liguria didn't come from North Africa directly; they were from Spain, which had already been subjugated by the Saracens who had crossed into Spain by way of the Straits of Gibralter.

    So, I don't know what to make of it. Sicily had, as a granary, many large latifundia manned by slave labor, but I'm not aware of any mass enslavement of Egyptians. Their rulers, including Cleopatra, were too smart to take Rome on directly, and their farmers were far too valuable right where they were, producing grain for Rome. Also, while, since the time of Cleopatra, there had been a large Roman colony in Egypt, which had intermarried with the locals, and might have taken spouses home, why only to Sicily? Even if the gene flow went the other way, you would expect it in Toscana, for example, as well.

    As for Crete, whatever influence there was (the thickness/thinness of the lines is important, I think) must have been male mediated, if this paper is correct, although I don't know what specific yDNA clades we'd be talking about. E-V13 was already a player in the Neolithic.

    See: A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete (Paschou is also a contributor to that study, btw)
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal...comms2871.html

    Also interesting in this regard is that there's no line from Egypt to the Druse, despite all the talk that there must be an Egyptian influence in the Druse since their religion partly has Egyptian origins.

    Equally surprising are the extensive connections from Palestine to Europe. It might be indication for the whole Near East. I would gladly want to see connections from Lebanon (old Phoenician), but they missed this important spot, and also Varna and Cucuteni cultures, coastal Bulgaria and Romania. A bit disappointing in sight selection.
    I think that's probably old, shared, Neolithic ancestry, don't you think? Despite the fact that the Palestinians have been influenced by subsequent movements from the Sinai and the Arabian peninsula, and have absorbed additional SSA, I'm sure a large component is very old and local to the area. As for the Phoenicians in Lebanon, we're taking about an area that's right in the neighborhood. I wonder how easy it would be to distinguish a Phoenicans from one of those early farmers anyway. Would they have gotten any ANE yet?

    It's very true that there's a big hole in terms of the samples from the Balkans.

    I don't yet have it very clear how the Anatolian Neolithic fits into all of this. Did the farmers first go to Cappadoccia? or were the people there very similar to the more coastal farmers anyway? When and from direction did Thessaly get its Neolithic?

    I'll have to read it again tomorrow when I'm not falling asleep. :)

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    The genetic-connection clusters represent the Fst values and “Warmer” colors indicate nodes of high centrality for the whole network (as computed by Cytoscape), while “thicker” edges indicate strong connections (high genetic similarity between the respective populations).

    Far interesting in terms of migrations/weight is Supp. Table 5
    p.40 - http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/20...11111.sapp.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Wow, look at Sardinians, so separate and distant from others. They might be the purest ancient farmers in existence, left almost intact on the island for some reason.
    The Sardinians don't stand out in the 2d PCA below, but cluster with Cretans and Sicilians, so we can say the third eigenvector is a "Sardinian factor". It's hard to make out their opposite, it's either South Moroccans or Chuvash. The first two eigenvectors are more obvious.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Salbrox View Post
    The Sardinians don't stand out in the 2d PCA below, but cluster with Cretans and Sicilians, so we can say the third eigenvector is a "Sardinian factor". It's hard to make out their opposite, it's either South Moroccans or Chuvash. The first two eigenvectors are more obvious.





    If I remember correctly, the Skogland paper found a high correlation in certain analyses between Gok 4 and the Cypriots. Sicily showed up in terms of Otzi, I believe, although Sardinia was closest.

    It all seems to tie in with the findings of this paper.

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    Oh, the poster Alexandros, whoever he is, makes some very pertinent points with regard to the spread of the these people at this discussion of the Cappadocian Neolithic:
    http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot...thic-site.html

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    Since we don't have any ancient DNA to support what an ancient Cappadocian looked like or even a Cretan, we cannot reasonably compare an ancient population with recent ones - unless I have missed something in the data and there are ancient samples. The PCA plot shows us basically what we always see when we look at all the "Eurasian" players all at once in the same dataset... Nothing new here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Sicily was also a granary for Rome; at the time, the climate was different, and the soil hadn't yet been worn out, so it was very fertile. I don't know if that explains it, though. I would have to check on the shipping lanes at that time, to see if the grain ships from Egypt stopped to pick up additional grain in Sicily. Ido know that even up until the time of Cleopatra, the ships had to follow the winds and currents, and so it was almost impossible to sail directly from Egypt to Italy. Cleopatra's ships, when she went to Rome, had to sail east and then up along the coast of the Levant till they reached the outskirts of the Aegean, when they could turn west. Then, they either hugged the coastline of the peninsula up to Naples or Rome, or they headed for Sicily and, if they were going to the western Mediterranean, they made for the Straits of Messina, a dangerous passage at that time.

    I think this explains the point made in the paper that the Mediterranean actually acted as a barrier to gene flow for much of history; the northern Mediterranean coast was not directly influenced very much by the southern Mediterranean coast. It was usually mediated through the Levant or Gibraltar. I've been saying that for five years too, not that anyone was paying any attention. :) Sailing obviously improved, of course, because by the time of the Saracen invasions, they did sail from Tunisia to Sicily. However, the Saracens who raided the northern Mediterranean coast of southern France and nearby Liguria didn't come from North Africa directly; they were from Spain, which had already been subjugated by the Saracens who had crossed into Spain by way of the Straits of Gibralter.
    There hardly were such impediments of travel between Egypt and Italy during Roman times:

    http://www.jaysromanhistory.com/rome...t/shiptrav.htm

    "One of the most heavily frequented trade routes lay between the Egyptian city of Alexandria and the Ostia, the port city that served Rome. As her empire grew, it became increasingly obvious that locally grown grain was insufficient to feed Rome’s growing population. Rich and productive though the Campanian farms were, their output was still insufficient to feed Rome’s growing population. The Province of Egypt could seemingly provide an endless supply of high quality wheat. Year after year, the grain ships made their way between the two cities, carrying their precious cargoes upon which the life of the empire itself depended. Indeed, the importance of the North African grain supply was not lost on the military mind. If a rebellious general or provincial governor wished to claim the imperial throne for his own, he need only control or even seriously threaten the grain supply ships. The prospect of mass starvation in the Eternal City would usually bring either an imperial general to the rescue or the end of an emperor’s reign in fairly short order."

    So, I don't know what to make of it. Sicily had, as a granary, many large latifundia manned by slave labor, but I'm not aware of any mass enslavement of Egyptians. Their rulers, including Cleopatra, were too smart to take Rome on directly, and their farmers were far too valuable right where they were, producing grain for Rome. Also, while, since the time of Cleopatra, there had been a large Roman colony in Egypt, which had intermarried with the locals, and might have taken spouses home, why only to Sicily? Even if the gene flow went the other way, you would expect it in Toscana, for example, as well.
    Not "massive" but certainly there were many from Egypt:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=T5t...page&q&f=false

    "With territorial acquisitions in ASIA MINOR, many of the slaves came from the East and were Syrian, Jew, Greek, and even Egyptian." - Page 508

    There also were the communities of free citizens from Egypt and their descendants living in Rome:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=6QP...page&q&f=false

    "Most foreigners living in Rome did not form distinct ethno-national communities. There were no distinct residential areas for foreigners and interaction among co-nationals was largely related to shared kinship or commercial interests. Shrines or temples linked to foreign religious cults sometimes also served as point of contact among co-nationals and as links to their ancestral home. Egyptian cults such as the one devoted to Isis had shrines and priests in Rome, but it is important to note that the worshipers were not exclusively Egyptian and included some upper class Romans. Thus, such shrines were not exclusive ethno-national centers. There were also quite a few shrines devoted to deities from Syrian cities in Rome. While sometimes these attracted non-Syrians, for the most part worshipers had some connection with Syria. Thus worshipers at the Palmyrene shrine included temporary visitors from Palmyra, recent immigrants from Palmyra, and residents of Palmyrene ancestry." - Page 184

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    4 members found this post helpful.
    I haven't had time to read the paper yet, but looking at the network analysis (fig.4) it gives the impression that Neolithic farmers spread from continental Italy to France, then to the Basque region/Pyrénées, and then only to Sardinia. This is interesting because I had always assumed that the diffusion progressed from east to west, and that farmers had reached Sardinia directly from the Italian peninsula via Corsica or Sicily/Tunisia. It actually would make sense if the Neolithic colonists had first reached Iberia and migrated by boat from the Balearic islands to Sardinia following the sea currents. After all, the currents go eastward in that part of the Mediterranean, so navigation on primitive boats would have been near impossible from Sicily to Sardinia. From Corsica the currents flow north, so not an option either. The only route is from Iberia.



    This is very important because it could mean that Sardinian I2a1a could have come from Iberia in Neolithic times, rather than being a Mesolithic remnant. It would also explain the similarity between the Basques and Sardinians.
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    The currents show modern sea levels. If the sea level was lower the currents might be different and those land bridges would be handy in crossing during low tides. Neolithic Era about 10,200 BCE (12,200 years ago)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drac II View Post
    There hardly were such impediments of travel between Egypt and Italy during Roman times:

    http://www.jaysromanhistory.com/rome...t/shiptrav.htm

    "One of the most heavily frequented trade routes lay between the Egyptian city of Alexandria and the Ostia, the port city that served Rome. As her empire grew, it became increasingly obvious that locally grown grain was insufficient to feed Rome’s growing population. Rich and productive though the Campanian farms were, their output was still insufficient to feed Rome’s growing population. The Province of Egypt could seemingly provide an endless supply of high quality wheat. Year after year, the grain ships made their way between the two cities, carrying their precious cargoes upon which the life of the empire itself depended. Indeed, the importance of the North African grain supply was not lost on the military mind. If a rebellious general or provincial governor wished to claim the imperial throne for his own, he need only control or even seriously threaten the grain supply ships. The prospect of mass starvation in the Eternal City would usually bring either an imperial general to the rescue or the end of an emperor’s reign in fairly short order."



    Not "massive" but certainly there were many from Egypt:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=T5t...page&q&f=false

    "With territorial acquisitions in ASIA MINOR, many of the slaves came from the East and were Syrian, Jew, Greek, and even Egyptian." - Page 508

    There also were the communities of free citizens from Egypt and their descendants living in Rome:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=6QP...page&q&f=false

    "Most foreigners living in Rome did not form distinct ethno-national communities. There were no distinct residential areas for foreigners and interaction among co-nationals was largely related to shared kinship or commercial interests. Shrines or temples linked to foreign religious cults sometimes also served as point of contact among co-nationals and as links to their ancestral home. Egyptian cults such as the one devoted to Isis had shrines and priests in Rome, but it is important to note that the worshipers were not exclusively Egyptian and included some upper class Romans. Thus, such shrines were not exclusive ethno-national centers. There were also quite a few shrines devoted to deities from Syrian cities in Rome. While sometimes these attracted non-Syrians, for the most part worshipers had some connection with Syria. Thus worshipers at the Palmyrene shrine included temporary visitors from Palmyra, recent immigrants from Palmyra, and residents of Palmyrene ancestry." - Page 184

    The question was in regard to why there would be a line going directly from Egypt to Sicily, (and Crete for that matter) but not to other parts of Italy. The fact that Egyptian galleys regularly supplied Rome with grain through the port of Ostia was a given. (See Post #10..."I would have to check on the shipping lanes at that time, to see if the grain ships from Egypt stopped to pick up additional grain in Sicily.") My speculation was that perhaps those galleys sometimes stopped in Sicily for additional grain, with Sicily acting as a sort of hub, although I have read nothing to that effect.

    None of that has anything to do with the route those galleys had to take, which it is very well documented was not a route directly from Egypt to Italy. The wind and sea currents and the nature of navigation at that time precluded that route. Those same water and wind currents affected sea navigation far back into prehistory.

    As to slavery, it is indeed true that there were some Egyptian slaves, and Egyptians living in Rome, and Romans living in Egypt, and as a result undoutedly some admixture. My point was that I don't see anything that is Sicily specific, the way that there is with documented Egyptian influence in Crete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oriental View Post
    The currents show modern sea levels. If the sea level was lower the currents might be different and those land bridges would be handy in crossing during low tides. Neolithic Era about 10,200 BCE (12,200 years ago)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic
    the estimation is that water level was 2 metres lower ..........which is due to findings in the Adriatic-refrugium

    I can only think that the current direction would still be the same

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    I think the points made in this book are important in understanding the route taken in the Neolithic:
    See: Ancient East and West by Gocha Tsetskhladze
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Qz1...ckwise&f=false

    The first point is that the boats at that time had great difficulty in sailing into headwinds.

    The season was from late March to late October since that is when there were clearer skies and moderate winds and slighter seas.

    Wind and water currents during that sailing season also imposed limitations upon sailing. (I think there is a tendency when creating models of human movement to draw a straight line from one place to another, with insufficient consideration to the challenges that people might have faced in taking such a route due to environmental constraints.)

    Some journeys from east directly west were possible by taking advantage of certain wind and water currents at certain times of the
    year, but moving north or south mostly involved clawing one's way along the coast using the currents and the morning and evening sea breezes.

    Attachment 6479

    Attachment 6480

    Attachment 6481

    Attachment 6482

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    From the movies like Ulysses, Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Fleece, etc. they show ships sailing along the coast. All those stories mention long journeys lasting months and years while a modern boat would have covered the whole trip in days.

    Thnx Sile.

    Boy am I rude. Sometimes I just move ahead without acknowledging or thanking people. Must do better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I haven't had time to read the paper yet, but looking at the network analysis (fig.4) it gives the impression that Neolithic farmers spread from continental Italy to France, then to the Basque region/Pyrénées, and then only to Sardinia. This is interesting because I had always assumed that the diffusion progressed from east to west, and that farmers had reached Sardinia directly from the Italian peninsula via Corsica or Sicily/Tunisia. It actually would make sense if the Neolithic colonists had first reached Iberia and migrated by boat from the Balearic islands to Sardinia following the sea currents. After all, the currents go eastward in that part of the Mediterranean, so navigation on primitive boats would have been near impossible from Sicily to Sardinia. From Corsica the currents flow north, so not an option either. The only route is from Iberia.



    This is very important because it could mean that Sardinian I2a1a could have come from Iberia in Neolithic times, rather than being a Mesolithic remnant. It would also explain the similarity between the Basques and Sardinians.
    Cool map, and can explain spread of farmers/first sailors. It is almost impossible to raw against strong currents in simple boats they had. However it is so close from Sardinia from Corsica and then to main land that it is hard to explain why there was not stronger and more uniform population movements to Sardinia. We have to look for deeper explanation yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Cool map, and can explain spread of farmers/first sailors. It is almost impossible to raw against strong currents in simple boats they had. However it is so close from Sardinia from Corsica and then to main land that it is hard to explain why there was not stronger and more uniform population movements to Sardinia. We have to look for deeper explanation yet.
    I think there must have been some kind of dangerous sea barrier between Corsica and Sardinia that is no longer there. Riptides and shoals of some kind.

    Simple little boats can make long sea voyages if you know how to build a boat that can tack against the wind, unless you also have strong currents to content with. But people who hadn't yet learned how to tack against the wind would find sailing the Mediterranean to be a much more difficult business.

    I still wonder whether some of the European Neolithic population got there from Africa and the genetic evidence is no longer in North Africa because climatic change caused a mass population movement at some point - North Africa apparently did start drying out during the early Neolithic. And while the trip from Morocco to Spain would have been difficult, the distance isn't very great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post

    Also interesting in this regard is that there's no line from Egypt to the Druse, despite all the talk that there must be an Egyptian influence in the Druse since their religion partly has Egyptian origins.
    I think that's probably old, shared, Neolithic ancestry, don't you think?
    I think bulk of these connections are. The only substantial population replacement happened in Neolithic.


    Despite the fact that the Palestinians have been influenced by subsequent movements from the Sinai and the Arabian peninsula, and have absorbed additional SSA, I'm sure a large component is very old and local to the area. As for the Phoenicians in Lebanon, we're taking about an area that's right in the neighborhood. I wonder how easy it would be to distinguish a Phoenicans from one of those early farmers anyway. Would they have gotten any ANE yet?
    It is hard to say. I'm guessing that ANE started to show there in any noticeable numbers with IEs, although I don't think they had mixed with locals well, especially at the coastal regions. Palestinians are very related to Jews (the left over Jews after expulsion from Israel?) and they don't have ANE unless they are Ashkenazi. At the moment I have nothing more than a believe that Jews and Phoenicians are close descendants of Near Eastern Farmers.
    However other side of me thinks of Jews as nomads, which can explain their affinity to moving around the world from way back.

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