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Thread: Genetic history of the British Isles

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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.

    Arrow Genetic history of the British Isles

    I am working on a new page dedicated to the genetic history of the Britain & Ireland. I have almost finished. I had to calculate the regional Y-DNA frequencies and revise all the maps based on the finer resolution that I obtained. Please feel free to provide your feedback and let me know if you notice any inconsistencies or oversights.
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    You'll probably have to make a huge edit when the Reich paper comes out in the next month or so. They've already said bronze age Bell beaker and Corded ware in Germany were practicality the same as modern central-north Europeans. It's safe to assume people in the Isles at that time were WHG+EEF, and that British and Irish today mostly descend from bronze age Central Europeans.

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    I like it alot, it's very interesting. When did you start saying R1b in west Europe is mostly of IE origin and that North sea people have the most IE ancestry in west Europe? I'masking because it appears ancient genomes have confirmed this hypothesis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krefter14 View Post
    You'll probably have to make a huge edit when the Reich paper comes out in the next month or so. They've already said bronze age Bell beaker and Corded ware in Germany were practicality the same as modern central-north Europeans. It's safe to assume people in the Isles at that time were WHG+EEF, and that British and Irish today mostly descend from bronze age Central Europeans.
    Bell Beaker culture and Corded Ware culture both started long before the Bronze Age, and the earliest Bell Beaker sites are in Iberia. And there aren't enough DNA samples to be sure about their genetic makeup. Although some of the mtDNA samples do seem more like modern European DNA than Neolithic, we don't have a lot of them. And there are only two Y DNA samples from Bell Beaker, both from Germany, on the edge of Bell Beaker territory. I think we need more data before we can arrive at any conclusions about Bell Beaker. And the interesting thing about Corded Ware is that the earliest DNA samples we have look Neolithic, although the later ones are more like modern Europeans. Again, too few samples for firm conclusions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I am working on a new page dedicated to the genetic history of the Britain & Ireland. I have almost finished. I had to calculate the regional Y-DNA frequencies and revise all the maps based on the finer resolution that I obtained. Please feel free to provide your feedback and let me know if you notice any inconsistencies or oversights.
    Thank you for all the information you provide to us, Maciamo. My life would be a lot less interesting without Eupedia.

    Do you think the upcoming papers on Indo-Europeans could cause you to do any major rewrites of the British and Irish page?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Bell Beaker culture and Corded Ware culture both started long before the Bronze Age, and the earliest Bell Beaker sites are in Iberia. And there aren't enough DNA samples to be sure about their genetic makeup. Although some of the mtDNA samples do seem more like modern European DNA than Neolithic, we don't have a lot of them. And there are only two Y DNA samples from Bell Beaker, both from Germany, on the edge of Bell Beaker territory. I think we need more data before we can arrive at any conclusions about Bell Beaker. And the interesting thing about Corded Ware is that the earliest DNA samples we have look Neolithic, although the later ones are more like modern Europeans. Again, too few samples for firm conclusions.
    I said specifically in Germany, which we do have BB, CWC, and Unetice genomes from. Also, the old idea that mtDNA H somehow represents an ancient population and determines whether a population is European or not, is totally false. BB have very Yamna-type mtdna, very similar to CWC, not Iberian-mtDNA.

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    I have expanded a bit the sections about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krefter14 View Post
    I like it alot, it's very interesting. When did you start saying R1b in west Europe is mostly of IE origin and that North sea people have the most IE ancestry in west Europe? I'masking because it appears ancient genomes have confirmed this hypothesis.
    I supported the hypothesis that R1b came from the Yamna and Maykop cultures and spread the Centum (mostly) branch of IE languages since early 2009 when I started the population genetic section on Eupedia. I think I was the only one to believe that at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Do you think the upcoming papers on Indo-Europeans could cause you to do any major rewrites of the British and Irish page?
    Why would it ? I am confident in my Proto-Indo-European hypothesis. Have you read anything about the new papers that seem to contradict my theories ? The only point of contention that I can think of is regarding the Bell Beakers. But as I have explained at length before, I believe that the Bell Beaker culture in Portugal started with non-R1b Megalithic people (I2a1, G2a, E1b1b and probably also some J and T), but that the Beaker culture's expansion to western and central Europe coincided with the expansion of R1b people from central to western Europe. So two movements in opposite directions, but juxtaposing one another, which explains why some people believe that R1b-L23 (or rather L11) spread from southwest Iberia to the rest of Europe with the Bell Beaker culture.

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    something which is not specific for British Isles, but for the whole of Europe :
    The few Mesolithic hunter-gatherers tested to datebelonged to Y-haplogroups C1, F and I2.
    Could you specify? I don't find mesolithic F, the only anciant F I know about are neolithic LBK
    IMO F expanded 50.000 years ago near the Indus Valley and the first descendants to come westwards were IJ, 43000 years ago in Georgia, gravettian I entering Europe through the Caucasus (Mezmaiskaya 39-33000 years ago)

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    The Bell Beaker cultural phenomenon did not in fact replace the Megalithic culture in western Europe, but coincided with it. The Beaker people continued to use common Megalithic burials (e.g. passage graves) like their Neolithic ancestors. In central Europe, where no Megalithic culture existed, bell beaker artefacts nevertheless appear due to the presence of western European merchants.

    I think you should specificaly mention wessex culture, which controlled the tin trade from the Cornwall mines. they were responsable for the spread of first bronze age in many parts of Europe. one of their trading partners were Unetice, who probably learned bronze technology from them
    wessex people were a bell beaker elite ruling over the local neolithic (megalithic) people , they had large herds of cattle and the elite was burried under rich tumulus graves, IMO they were IE and R1b, but not the R1b-L21 yet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krefter14 View Post
    I said specifically in Germany, which we do have BB, CWC, and Unetice genomes from. Also, the old idea that mtDNA H somehow represents an ancient population and determines whether a population is European or not, is totally false. BB have very Yamna-type mtdna, very similar to CWC, not Iberian-mtDNA.
    Nobody said that mtDNA H was common in ancient Europe, and while the few samples we have of BB mtDNA do seem to show more H than was present with Neolithic Europeans, we don't in fact know yet what Yamna DNA looks like, although we will soon. Many people have suggested that Yamna mtDNA must have been primarily H in order to explain why that haplogroup became more common in Europe and that does seem likely to me. However, even if mtDNA H was more common among both BB and Yamna than it had been among Neolithic Europeans, that doesn't mean that BB is genetically the same as Yamna, as haplogroup H is very widespread. If we get enough data in enough depth to see that the same subclades of H were common among both BB and Yamna, that would suggest there was a close
    connection at some point, but we don't have enough data yet.

    MtDNA H was present to some degree in ancient Europe, and wasn't that common with CW, so it's not quite as simple as you seem to think.

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    Selection can mess with mtDNA haplogroup frequencies. Lithuanians are mostly WHG but have 80% EEF mtDNA. I think for some reason mtDNA H may have given a survival advantage and so it's frequencies rose independently throughout Europe.

    Yamna had very little mtDNA H, we have 63 mtDNA samples from bronze age Pontic steppe, more than Reich has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    something which is not specific for British Isles, but for the whole of Europe :
    The few Mesolithic hunter-gatherers tested to datebelonged to Y-haplogroups C1, F and I2.
    Could you specify? I don't find mesolithic F, the only anciant F I know about are neolithic LBK
    IMO F expanded 50.000 years ago near the Indus Valley and the first descendants to come westwards were IJ, 43000 years ago in Georgia, gravettian I entering Europe through the Caucasus (Mezmaiskaya 39-33000 years ago)
    I know that it might be controversial to consider F as a Mesolithic lineage at this point. However I predicted a few years ago that Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Europeans would have haplogroups C, F and I, and since then both C and I have been confirmed, while F turned up in Early Neolithic sites as a minority lineage, just like C1, I1 and I2. Therefore I strongly believe that these F samples were assimilated (or captured/enslaved) Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. If hg F had been a true lineage of Neolithic farmers it would have prospered. Instead it went almost extinct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Nobody said that mtDNA H was common in ancient Europe, and while the few samples we have of BB mtDNA do seem to show more H than was present with Neolithic Europeans, we don't in fact know yet what Yamna DNA looks like, although we will soon. Many people have suggested that Yamna mtDNA must have been primarily H in order to explain why that haplogroup became more common in Europe and that does seem likely to me. However, even if mtDNA H was more common among both BB and Yamna than it had been among Neolithic Europeans, that doesn't mean that BB is genetically the same as Yamna, as haplogroup H is very widespread. If we get enough data in enough depth to see that the same subclades of H were common among both BB and Yamna, that would suggest there was a close
    connection at some point, but we don't have enough data yet.

    MtDNA H was present to some degree in ancient Europe, and wasn't that common with CW, so it's not quite as simple as you seem to think.
    Actually we do have a lot of Neolithic mtDNA samples, and the percentage of haplogroup H gradually rises from the Early to Late Neolithic to nearly 35%. We also have over 100 Bronze Age Steppe samples and mtDNA H makes only 25% of the total (and only 10% in Andronovo).

    I believe that the main reason that hg H appears so low in Neolithic samples tested so far is because H was more common among Mesolithic southern Europeans, and especially in Iberia. Most of the Neolithic samples were tested in Central Europe, where Mesolithic inhabitants belonged predominantly to U2e, U4 and U5. IMO, only a few H subclades came from the Middle East with Neolithic farmers (e.g. H5a, H20). The rest, including H1 and H3, were probably native to Mediterranean Europe.

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    The analysis of the Hinxton genomes revealed that pre-Roman Celtic Britons did not have any West Asian or Southwest Asian genetic admixture in them.
    Great read.
    But I have doubts regarding the one statement above.
    I think that K12 hides significant "West-Asian" admixture inside "West-European" admixture, namely that part which was already present in pre-roman celts. In K12b actually "West-Asian" (in terms of Caucasus, Gedrosia, South-Asian, Southwest-Asian) admixture become visible also in the pre-roman samples. In turn, "West-European" and "East-European" get replaced by the more consistent K12b "North-European" admixture. This is also much less conflicting when comparing with contemporary Britons. Why do you prefer K12 over K12b?

    Also the admixture analysis for instance in Lazatidis et al 2013 consistently showed significant West-Asian-like (yellow color) admixture in contemp. Britons, which is higher than in K12, and which was lacking in Sardinians and Basques as expected.

    I understand that the Gedrosia-part might not necessarily be West-Asian, but it is still close, and then there is still Caucasus admixture left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Actually we do have a lot of Neolithic mtDNA samples, and the percentage of haplogroup H gradually rises from the Early to Late Neolithic to nearly 35%. We also have over 100 Bronze Age Steppe samples and mtDNA H makes only 25% of the total (and only 10% in Andronovo).

    I believe that the main reason that hg H appears so low in Neolithic samples tested so far is because H was more common among Mesolithic southern Europeans, and especially in Iberia. Most of the Neolithic samples were tested in Central Europe, where Mesolithic inhabitants belonged predominantly to U2e, U4 and U5. IMO, only a few H subclades came from the Middle East with Neolithic farmers (e.g. H5a, H20). The rest, including H1 and H3, were probably native to Mediterranean Europe.
    There was no gradual rise in H. I went through the mutations of just about every ancient European mtDNA sample, and know the percentages, subclades, and haplotypes and for all of them. H was very low in LBK, but was just as high in earlier Neolithic cultures of Hungary as in later Neolithic and bronze age cultures in Germany.

    Most of the "H"s from Mesolithic Iberia were not even tested for a HV or H SNP, and most samples from those old studies are probably false positives. There are alot of L3, N or M samples and R*(R0, U5, U4, etc., JT) from old Iberian samples which make no sense at all and are not found in younger studies. There are a series of shared haplotypes between Mesolithic and Neolithic Iberians in those old studies, probably meaning they have the same contamination source.

    Also, the Cs from the ancient Pontic steppe are also probably false posties.

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    Unless Iberia, France, and Italy were connected to the near east via the Mediterranean during the Mesolithic I find it very unlikely they were not WHG, or something related to WHG-ANE.

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    I don't understand how you can just willy nilly combine data from different studies that don't even test for the subclades you have listed in your results. I looked at most of them and none of them test for the same subclades you have listed. I looked at the FTDNA project for East Anglia, they have less than 200 members and you list the sample size as 466. Actual academics must just look at the material on here and cringe, I know I do. In every single paper that has been released for the past 2 years all of them support an Y DNA r1b and mtdna H expansion in Europe with the bell beaker culture and yet this mainstream theory is disregarded in favor of nonsense.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Could you specify? I don't find mesolithic F, the only anciant F I know about are neolithic LBK
    There was also Ajvide 70, a Mesolithic/Neolithic cusp sample from the Pitted Ware culture, which tested as F but not I.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motzart View Post
    I don't understand how you can just willy nilly combine data from different studies that don't even test for the subclades you have listed in your results. I looked at most of them and none of them test for the same subclades you have listed. I looked at the FTDNA project for East Anglia, they have less than 200 members and you list the sample size as 466. Actual academics must just look at the material on here and cringe, I know I do.
    FYI, I didn't just use the FTDNA data for regional percentages but all the other studies mentioned in the sources. For East Anglia that includes 172 samples from Rosser 2000 and 121 samples from Capelli 2003.

    In every single paper that has been released for the past 2 years all of them support an Y DNA r1b and mtdna H expansion in Europe with the bell beaker culture and yet this mainstream theory is disregarded in favor of nonsense.
    I have said that R1b originated in the Yamna and Maykop cultures and spread around Europe during the Bronze Age with IE migrations since 2009. Up to academics all said that R1b descended from Cro-Magnon and re-exapnded from the Franco-Cantabrian LGM refuge. In 2010, Balaresque et al. launched a new fanciful trend by claiming that R1b came with Neolithic farmers from the Near East, a theory that was supported by virtually all academics (and by Dienekes on his blog) until 2013-2014 when no R1b at all turned up in any of the Neolithic Y-DNA samples tested around Europe. Yet some people still believe that R1b came with Neolithic farmers. Just because R1b-M269 was found in a site labelled as "Bell Beaker" by Lee et al. does not mean that these individuals belong to the same ethnicity as the original Bell Beakers of Portugal. In fact, if you look at the mtDNA found alongside the Thuringian R1b, it looks typically Yamna (U2e, U5a1, T1a, K1, I1a1 and W5a), while the mtDNA tested in Megalithic Iberia doesn't (HV, H, K1a, J, T2, U5b, X).

    Some people (like that guy from the Bell Beaker blog) even used my own explanation that R1b-V88 spread to North Africa during the Neolithic to make up other fanciful hypotheses about R1b-M269 oddly emerging from V88 (a phylogenetic nonsense) and spreading to Iberia to form the Bell Beaker culture in the Late Neolithic. I am not saying that R1b-V88 wasn't present in Neolithic Iberia. It probably was at low levels (alongside I2a1, G2a, etc.). But it cannot be the source of R1b-M269, which makes up the vast majority of European R1b. As for R1b-M269 spreading to North Africa then to Iberia instead of R1b-V88, that makes even less sense since there is virtually no R1b-M269 in North Africa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krefter14 View Post
    There was no gradual rise in H. I went through the mutations of just about every ancient European mtDNA sample, and know the percentages, subclades, and haplotypes and for all of them. H was very low in LBK, but was just as high in earlier Neolithic cultures of Hungary as in later Neolithic and bronze age cultures in Germany.

    Most of the "H"s from Mesolithic Iberia were not even tested for a HV or H SNP, and most samples from those old studies are probably false positives. There are alot of L3, N or M samples and R*(R0, U5, U4, etc., JT) from old Iberian samples which make no sense at all and are not found in younger studies. There are a series of shared haplotypes between Mesolithic and Neolithic Iberians in those old studies, probably meaning they have the same contamination source.
    No need to try to find an increase between early and late LBK samples. That was the same culture, the same people.

    I have calculated the mtDNA frequencies of 180 Late Neolithic samples, and depending if you include samples that could be R, HV or H as H or not, you get between 32% and 36% of hg H (against 17% in the Early Neolithic, which are mostly from Central Europe). But that could simply be because there are more Late Neolithic samples from Iberia.

    Also, the Cs from the ancient Pontic steppe are also probably false posties.
    Very doubtful since mtDNA C5 was identified in Mesolithic Karelia (north-western Russia), while C4a2 was among the lineages of the Dnieper-Donets culture in Neolithic Ukraine. C4a3 and C4a6 samples dating from the Bronze Age (Catacomb culture) were also found in the Odessa region of Ukraine. Both C4a and C5 are common among the Turkmens, Uzbeks and Tajiks today, populations with substantial levels of R1a and R1b. Besides C4a and C5 are still found in eastern Europe today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krefter14 View Post
    Selection can mess with mtDNA haplogroup frequencies. Lithuanians are mostly WHG but have 80% EEF mtDNA. I think for some reason mtDNA H may have given a survival advantage and so it's frequencies rose independently throughout Europe.

    Yamna had very little mtDNA H, we have 63 mtDNA samples from bronze age Pontic steppe, more than Reich has.
    I don't think that Lithuanians have more Neolithic mtDNA because these haplogroups confer an evolutionary advantage. There are just too many different Neolithic haplogroups. A clear evolutionary advantage would be limited to one specific haplogroup and subclade. Any new mutation could mess up the acquired benefits of previous mutations. I wrote about beneficial mtDNA mutations here. You'll see that it's more complicated than just looking at top level haplogroups.

    Besides, it is fairly clear that some H subclades were already present in Mesolithic Europe. Many H subclades are almost exclusively European (H4, H6, H10, H11, H17, H45). Among them, H4 and H6 probably came from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe as they were absent from both Mesolithic and Neolithic/Chalcolithic samples in central or western Europe.

    Do you know the breakdown of H subclades for the Lithuanian populations ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    Great read.
    But I have doubts regarding the one statement above.
    I think that K12 hides significant "West-Asian" admixture inside "West-European" admixture, namely that part which was already present in pre-roman celts. In K12b actually "West-Asian" (in terms of Caucasus, Gedrosia, South-Asian, Southwest-Asian) admixture become visible also in the pre-roman samples. In turn, "West-European" and "East-European" get replaced by the more consistent K12b "North-European" admixture. This is also much less conflicting when comparing with contemporary Britons. Why do you prefer K12 over K12b?

    Also the admixture analysis for instance in Lazatidis et al 2013 consistently showed significant West-Asian-like (yellow color) admixture in contemp. Britons, which is higher than in K12, and which was lacking in Sardinians and Basques as expected.

    I understand that the Gedrosia-part might not necessarily be West-Asian, but it is still close, and then there is still Caucasus admixture left.
    I understand what your are saying. But it's important to compare autosomal admixtures with the same calculator. The lack of 'West Asian' admixture does not necessarily mean that Iron Age Britons had no West Asian DNA whatsoever. Obviously West Asian, Caucasian, Southwest Asian, Gedrosian, EEF, etc. all refer to some sort of Middle Eastern ancestry. My point was simply that, using the same K12 admixtures, Iron Age Celts lacked two types of admixture now found in all British and Irish people. It could be an error. I didn't run the admixture calculation, so I am only reporting what I read. It doesn't make much sense since there is no way the Romans or Normans brought 6% of West Asian admixture in the Irish or Highland Scots !

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    There was also Ajvide 70, a Mesolithic/Neolithic cusp sample from the Pitted Ware culture, which tested as F but not I.

    Maybe, he was positive for F and F2 but there are a lot of false positives in his DNA lisitng. I suppose coverage was very low.
    The most remarkable is that he tested no I as you state.

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