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Thread: A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete

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    A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete


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    I don't agree with the complex tests done by the authors(it's mostly a waste of time with low coverage mtDNA) but I generally agree with their conclusion.

    What we can see looking at Minoan mtDNA is they were West Eurasian(duh...) and lacked several West Asian-centered lineages, HV(xHV0, HV6-17), R0a'b, U1, U3, U7, J1b(xJ1b1a1), J1d. Plus they have European-centered lineages: T2b, J1c, U5a. It's hard to say though how they relate to modern West Eurasians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    I don't agree with the complex tests done by the authors(it's mostly a waste of time with low coverage mtDNA) but I generally agree with their conclusion.

    What we can see looking at Minoan mtDNA is they were West Eurasian(duh...) and lacked several West Asian-centered lineages, HV(xHV0, HV6-17), R0a'b, U1, U3, U7, J1b(xJ1b1a1), J1d. Plus they have European-centered lineages: T2b, J1c, U5a. It's hard to say though how they relate to modern West Eurasians.
    Minoans have their own alphabet different from Greek. It is proved that this alphabet is closely related to Persians.
    Could it be "european population" with persian alphabet?

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    thanks bictcleur - it maybe have no link but I remember Lasithi Plateau people have today high levels of Y-R1b with strong U152 imput (and also Y-R1a) - but modern is modern so?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    I don't agree with the complex tests done by the authors(it's mostly a waste of time with low coverage mtDNA) but I generally agree with their conclusion.

    What we can see looking at Minoan mtDNA is they were West Eurasian(duh...) and lacked several West Asian-centered lineages, HV(xHV0, HV6-17), R0a'b, U1, U3, U7, J1b(xJ1b1a1), J1d. Plus they have European-centered lineages: T2b, J1c, U5a. It's hard to say though how they relate to modern West Eurasians.
    The Ayios Charalambos cave was used as an ossuary from the late neolithic to the Middle Minoan IIB with a most likely period of the majority of the deposits during the Middle Minoan IIB (~3700 YBP). The cave was sealed for several centuries and it was accidentally discovered during road construction in 1976. Because of the low temperatures inside the cave, the osseous remains were preserved in excellent condition18.

    they should analyse the full genome DNA and make it public

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    because of absence of serious clues, this is my guess about the Minoans :

    they were fugitive craftsmen and artisans from the Levant who were trading during the Uruk expansion (4000-3100 BC)
    the Uruk expansion was blocked by the invasion of the Semitic tribes from Egypt into the Levant

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    What is clear is, we will never know without autosomal DNA how they compare to modern Cretans. Modern Cretans are genetically similar to southern Italians, Sicilians and other Aegean islanders, but Minoans... we cannot infer this based on just haplogroups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    thanks bictcleur - it maybe have no link but I remember Lasithi Plateau people have today high levels of Y-R1b with strong U152 imput (and also Y-R1a) - but modern is modern so?
    there is a 2007 study : http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v.../5201769a.html

    with PCA


    Y-STR-based principal component analyses of haplogroups R1a1 and R1b using microsatellite markers DYS19, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, and DYS393.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    This study was actually published two and a half years ago and we already discussed it on this forum. Nothing new. Besides, testing only HVS1+2 mtDNA sequences in 2013 is quite disappointing. We cannot learn anything useful about ethnic origins based on haplogroups like H, K or T2 without knowing the deep clade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuPidh View Post
    Minoans have their own alphabet different from Greek. It is proved that this alphabet is closely related to Persians.
    Could it be "european population" with persian alphabet?
    The paper says Minoans resemble Neolithic and modern Europeans.

    Two years ago when we didn't had any Near Eastern neolithic samples this kind of conclusion would be the only correct one, but today we can say Minoans resemble simply Neolithic Near Easterners. I bet they were not much different from Anatolian farmers.

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    OK Alan , but they seem closer to modernn Europeans and when compared to ancient populations, a bit closer to central Mediterraneans, ancient Sardinians, and to ancient Catalans and Hungarians (the regions, not the today Western people too. It could have some signification if it was confirmed by auDNA, but it's not the case, helas!

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    the ["(the region, not the today Western people too."] block of words is a technical error of keyboard, as I can do when I want!!! don't take it in account.
    I want to say: inhabitants of today Catalunya and Hungary, not modern people of these countries! but it's true, first Neolithic farmers come from NW and Central Anatolia seem having known a bottelneck before or just after being passed the Marmara Sea (Bosphore) reaching East Greece; this could confirm an ancient enough arrival in Europe and not a more modern arrival from Anatolia or Near-East at Metals Ages; the questionis: here we deal with mt-DNA, females passed; so it doesn't prove too much...

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    OK Alan , but they seem closer to modernn Europeans and when compared to ancient populations, a bit closer to central Mediterraneans, ancient Sardinians, and to ancient Catalans and Hungarians (the regions, not the today Western people too. It could have some signification if it was confirmed by auDNA, but it's not the case, helas!

    The point is, that the paper was published prior to Anatolian Neolithic samples. And the paper tries to solve the mystery of where the Minoans came from. So talking about an ancient population. It is important to point out that modern Southwest Europeans are predominantly ancient Anatolian like. Therefore this is an important point for solving the issue of Minoan origin. And it goes in hand with the theory that Minoans came A. Either from Mesopotamia or B. the Levant but had close cultural contact to Mesopotamia.
    Or should we propose a West European origin of Minoans?

    So to the question of the thread, no it wasn't a "European" population in Bronze Age Crete. Rather a modern European like population from ancient Near East. That fits well.
    Last edited by Alan; 25-10-15 at 18:28.

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    I agree Alan; some of the Anatolian populations before Bronze Ages could have been identical or very close to more ancient West Anatolian populations, so, to first farmers colonizing West-Mediterranean and Central Europe; after came surely 'west-asian'like people with some ANE, giving the today autosomal results for these regions (Anatolia, North Near-East, Caucasus);
    so an origin in close Neart-East or Anatolia for Minoans is very not impossible; but I would be happy having their auDNA and their Y-DNA!

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    @Moesan

    Something to add. From what we know until now the samples would be similar to West and Central Anatolian samples of Neolithic time. David says he has informations that Central Anatolian farmers were identical to West Anatolian farmers. And this indicates that early Neolithic farmers in general, which includes levantine farmers and pre late Neolithic Mesopotamian farmers must have been quite similar if not identicle.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Crete was colonized pretty early by the farmers. The same people then spread into Europe.

    See Paschou et al:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/25/9...df?with-ds=yes



    http://www.markbwilson.com/album/1-M...on%20Sites.jpg

    The only aceramic site they've found is under Knossos, if my memory serves. Then you'd have subsequent Neolithic flows bringing ceramics, but always from the same direction, following the same sea and air currents.

    It's the transition to Bronze that I find most interesting. The preface to this book, which I've promised myself I'll at least scan, seems to indicate that the author sees the movement as coming from the southern Cyclades, the Dodecanese, and Anatolia. If it did, it will have just been the same farmer folk, only admixed with ANE and some stray bits, perhaps even from the steppe.


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    A recent documentary states the minoans where destroyed by............ initially a tsunami in 1600BC when santorini exploded and then they where finally destroyed by myceneans from the bay of corinth a century or ywo later.

    The program also states that the minoans where asiatic people from northern parts of the Zargos mountains
    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 Angela View Post
    Crete was colonized pretty early by the farmers. The same people then spread into Europe.

    See Paschou et al:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/25/9...df?with-ds=yes



    http://www.markbwilson.com/album/1-M...on%20Sites.jpg

    The only aceramic site they've found is under Knossos, if my memory serves. Then you'd have subsequent Neolithic flows bringing ceramics, but always from the same direction, following the same sea and air currents.

    It's the transition to Bronze that I find most interesting. The preface to this book, which I've promised myself I'll at least scan, seems to indicate that the author sees the movement as coming from the southern Cyclades, the Dodecanese, and Anatolia. If it did, it will have just been the same farmer folk, only admixed with ANE and some stray bits, perhaps even from the steppe.
    the Minoans created a completely new culture; different from the previous neolithics
    a palatial culture with craftsmen, artisans and traders
    they also introduced writing in Crete

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    Minoans to Rhodes?

    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    the Minoans created a completely new culture; different from the previous neolithics
    a palatial culture with craftsmen, artisans and traders
    they also introduced writing in Crete
    I have a hypothesis (working to get more data to support it) that the refugees of Minoan Crete after the explosion of Thera 3600 BP may have settled on Rhodes in the Dodecanese chain. Up until that time, Rhodes was largely pastoral with almost nothing in the way of a naval merchant presence, yet within 100 years, it had begun developing a very oddly Minoan-like culture, a significant seaport and the adoption of Minoan/Phoenician deities, rather than the more Scythian protoculture that was characteristic of Mycenaean Greeks. By the Trojan war, the people who lived on Rhodes were known as the people of Dan or Danu, and they supplied much if not most of the hulls and sailors used in the invasion of Troy, who were Hittite/Anatolian ... and who were largely in competition with the Phoenicians from Tyre and Byblos (Canaanites) for trade routes.

    The Canaanites were largely J2 (the Lebanese are the Canaanite primary living relatives), which likely overlapped with pre-Kingdom Israel to the south. Culturally they were very similar, and rather distinct from other cultures in that they usually did not occupy extensive land territories. Rather, a Phoenician "colony" was often symbiotic with other cultures around them, in effect Phoenician ghettos, in seaports. The Israelis by themselves were no great shakes as ship-wrights - they lacked the trees necessary for ship-building - but the Canaanites were renowned ship-builders as well as architects who helped to build Jerusalem in the 800s BCE. Thus there's a very real possibility that the Jewish Diaspora occurred on Phoenician hulls, and that Minoan Linear A was NW Semitic in origin (possibly derived from Akadian or Sammaran, after the breakup of the Babylonian empire).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kurt_cagle View Post
    The Canaanites were largely J2 (the Lebanese are the Canaanite primary living relatives), which likely overlapped with pre-Kingdom Israel to the south. Culturally they were very similar, and rather distinct from other cultures in that they usually did not occupy extensive land territories. Rather, a Phoenician "colony" was often symbiotic with other cultures around them, in effect Phoenician ghettos, in seaports. The Israelis by themselves were no great shakes as ship-wrights - they lacked the trees necessary for ship-building - but the Canaanites were renowned ship-builders as well as architects who helped to build Jerusalem in the 800s BCE. Thus there's a very real possibility that the Jewish Diaspora occurred on Phoenician hulls, and that Minoan Linear A was NW Semitic in origin (possibly derived from Akadian or Sammaran, after the breakup of the Babylonian empire).
    I don't think the heavy percentage of J2 carriers among Canaanites can be attributed to those who lent them their Semitic language. J2 decreases abruptly in the southern part of the Levant and is a relatively minor haplogroup among the Arabian peoples. Meanwhile, J1-P58 is present throughout the north (Southern Anatolia) to south (Yemen). I'd say the J2 clades prevalent in Canaan were probably proto-Hurro-urartian or something of the sort which became absorbed by Semites and then progressed with its expansion now with another ethnic identity.Also, I'm really a bit doubtful on the idea that Linear A language was NW Semitic. Wouldn't it be much more easily deciferable by linguits if it were part of the much more well known Semitic languages?

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