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Thread: Talk on Ancient Italian/Roman DNA over in Stanford.

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    So to summarise:

    pre-Neolithic = Typical WHGs

    Neolithic = Mostly EEF with some additional WHG (i.e. typically Sardinian-like). Iran_N appears too though, and whether this dates to the Early or Late Neolithic is a big deal. If to the Early Neolithic, it makes no sense whatsoever. If to the Later Neolithic, like with the Iran_N that appeared in Greece, it suggests a spread of Iran_N with the spread of copper metallurgy (which seems more likely).

    Early Bronze Age = Decrease in this Iran_N ancestry and resurgence in the Neolithic EEF and WHG. This resurgence was due to the dilution of Iran_N ancestry (presumably originally from metallurgical elites) from mixing with typical Neolithic types. Steppe ancestry does not appear - this suggests that R1b-U152 Bell Beaker types were initially limited to the Northern Italian Polada culture.

    Roman Kingdom to Roman Republic = Heterogenous, with one group clustering around Northern Italy and another group clustering around Southern Italy with little in between, suggesting confluence of two different peoples. This period marks the first signs of EHG, presumably related to the Northern group and ultimately the original Italics, and Levant_N, presumably related to the Southern group and representing immigration from the Western Near East (Iran_N increases too, and this is also probably related to the spread of Steppe ancestry from the North and notably from the Greek colonisation of Southern Italy, which likely provided most of this Iran_N ancestry).

    Roman Empire = Northern and Southern groups from the preceding period have blended together, meaning the modern cline from Northern to Southern Italy has been formed, but in this case the large Iran_N component from Magna Graecia and from the Western Middle East has shifted this Southwards compared to nowadays. Besides this homogenous blended group and the cases of Western Middle Easterners, a separate small group exists clustering around the previous Northern group, who for whatever reason did not blend (so either elites and/or cultural conservatives). A further separate group exists, clustering around modern-day Lebanese individuals.

    Late Antiquity = Disappearance of Western Middle Eastern (Lebanese-like) individuals, but the vast majority of the samples still form a homogenous group around Southern Italians. Northern group outliers remain as before, but new Northern European individuals appear (presumably Germanics).

    Middle Ages = Modern Central Italy

    Implications:

    Iran_N, unless confirmed to have been present in the Early Neolithic, spread with copper metallurgy from the Eastern Mediterranean

    Steppe ancestry in Italy spread from the North, and reached Central Italy sometime in the Middle Bronze Age to form a Northern group; immigration from the Middle East occurs from the Iron Age, mixing with the previous Sardinian-like folk to form a Southern group

    This Northern group, similar to modern Northern Italians, was initially segregated from the Southern group, similar to modern South Italians. These groups had blended together by the time of the Roman Empire. Northern Italian outliers exist, who apparently resisted this blend, who were either the Roman elite or simply cultural conservatives. Middle Eastern outliers also exist, plotting roughly around modern-day Lebanese individuals (and presumably it was these people, along with the Greeks, who added the Middle Eastern ancestry to form the Southern group).

    This situation continues to the Late Antiquity period, with the Northern Italian elites/conservatives remaining separated, but the Middle Eastern outliers have moved on or mixed in. Germanic warriors appear.

    By the Middle Ages, this smaller Northern Italian-like group (as well as the Germanics in all likelihood) has blended with the larger Southern Italian-like group, shifting this fully homogenous group North to its current present admixture.

    One can only speculate, but the Middle Eastern outliers plotting near modern-day Lebanese presumably represent Jews, who were historically by far the largest immigrant group from the Middle East in the Roman Empire.

    Also, this puts the nail in the coffin for those still hoping for Northern European elites ruling classical Greece and Italy (i.e. the foundational civilisations of the West). These likely elites were Northern-shifted though, existing in their own caste for some time, and likely had lighter pigmentation, but they were certainly nothing like modern Northern Europeans.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    So to summarise:

    pre-Neolithic = Typical WHGs

    Neolithic = Mostly EEF with some additional WHG (i.e. typically Sardinian-like). Iran_N appears too though, and whether this dates to the Early or Late Neolithic is a big deal. If to the Early Neolithic, it makes no sense whatsoever. If to the Later Neolithic, like with the Iran_N that appeared in Greece, it suggests a spread of Iran_N with the spread of copper metallurgy (which seems more likely).

    Early Bronze Age = Decrease in this Iran_N ancestry and resurgence in the typical Neolithic EEF and WHG. Two possibilities here: this resurgence was due to the dilution of Iran_N ancestry (presumably originally from metallurgical elites) from mixing with typical Neolithic types, and/or due to admixture with some WHG-enriched group different to typical Neolithic folk. The first scenario alone seems the more likely to me. Steppe ancestry does not appear - this suggests that R1b-U152 Bell Beaker types were initially limited to the Northern Italian Polada culture.

    Roman Kingdom to Roman Republic = Heterogenous, with one group clustering around Northern Italy and another group clustering around Southern Italy with little in between, suggesting confluence of two different peoples. This period marks the first signs of EHG, presumably related to the Northern group and ultimately the original Italics, and Levant_N, presumably related to the Southern group and representing immigration from the Western Near East (Iran_N increases too, but this is also probably related to the spread of Steppe ancestry from the North).

    Roman Empire = Northern and Southern groups from the preceding period have blended together, meaning the modern cline from Northern to Southern Italy has been formed, but in this case the introduction of groups from the Middle East (as represented by the focal point of the cluster being roughly Sicilian and the existence of a "tail" stretching roughly to modern Lebanese) has shifted this Southwards compared to nowadays. Besides this homogenous blended group and the cases of Western Middle Easterners, a separate small group exists clustering around the previous Northern group, who for whatever reason did not blend (so either elites or cultural conservatives).

    Late Antiquity = Disappearance of Western Middle Eastern individuals, but the vast majority of the samples still form a homogenous group around Sicilians. Northern group outliers remain as before, but new Northern European individuals appear (presumably Germanics).

    Middle Ages = Modern Central Italy


    Implications:

    Iran_N, unless confirmed to have been present in the Early Neolithic, spread with copper metallurgy from the Eastern Mediterranean

    Steppe ancestry in Italy spread from the North, and reached Central Italy sometime in the Middle Bronze Age to form a Northern group; immigration from the Middle East occurs from the Iron Age, mixing with the previous Sardinian-like folk to form a Southern group

    This Steppe group, similar to modern Northern Italians, was initially segregated from a different Southern group, similar to modern South Italians. These groups had blended together by the time of the Roman Empire, with additional Middle Eastern ancestry compared to nowadays, moving this cluster to near modern-day Sicilians. Northern Italian outliers exist, who apparently resisted this blend, who were either the Roman elite or simply cultural conservatives. Middle Eastern outliers also exist, plotting roughly around modern-day Lebanese individuals.

    This situation continues to the Late Antiquity period, with the Northern Italian elites/conservatives remaining, but the Middle Eastern outliers have disappeared (WITHOUT changing the genetic profile of the masses). Germanic barbarians appear.

    By the Middle Ages, this smaller Northern Italian group has blended with the Southern Italian mass, shifting this fully homogenous group North to its current present admixture.

    One can only speculate, but the Middle Eastern outliers plotting near modern-day Lebanese presumably represent Jews
    We've come a long way since my arguments on dna forums trying to point out that copper metallurgy DID NOT come to Italy with steppe people and R1b.

    Unless some major paper has eluded me, we don't know anything about the genetics of the Polada people or when and with whom U-152 arrived. Let's stick to FACTS, shall we?

    You're forgetting all those Greeks in southern Italy, who, if they were anything like the Mycenaeans, had quite a bit of Iran Neo, and haplogroup J, and were being incorporated into the Republic.

    Northern Italians are not similar to any steppe group whatsoever. They are not even Central Europeans. The Alps did indeed spare us the magnitude of the turnover experienced there. When the Italic speaking groups arrived, who would indeed have carried steppe ancestry, I think we will find they admixed with the Sardinian like inhabitants. To this day, the closest people to Sardinians are Northern Italians. The people in Italy with the highest Anatolian Neolithic are Northern Italians.

    We don't have any idea what Southern Italians and Sicilians looked like genetically in the Republican Age or the Imperial Age, so we have no way of knowing what and how much "other" ancestry was incorporated by them, which could then have made it's way up the peninsula. I also fail to see how "sporadic" Levantine could have had much of an impact. I think we might find those samples are indeed Levantine residents in the capital. There I agree with you.

    Once again, I think you are ignoring the impact of Greek colonization.

    We will only be able to revise these issues with facts when we have the paper in front of us.

    As always,


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    We've come a long way since my arguments on dna forums trying to point out that copper metallurgy DID NOT come to Italy with steppe people and R1b.

    Unless some major paper has eluded me, we don't know anything about the genetics of the Polada people or when and with whom U-152 arrived. Let's stick to FACTS, shall we?

    You're forgetting all those Greeks in southern Italy, who, if they were anything like the Mycenaeans, had quite a bit of Iran Neo, and haplogroup J, and were being incorporated into the Republic.

    Northern Italians are not similar to any steppe group whatsoever. They are not even Central Europeans. The Alps did indeed spare us the magnitude of the turnover experienced there. When the Italic speaking groups arrived, who would indeed have carried steppe ancestry, I think we will find they admixed with the Sardinian like inhabitants. To this day, the closest people to Sardinians are Northern Italians. The people in Italy with the highest Anatolian Neolithic are Northern Italians.

    We don't have any idea what Southern Italians and Sicilians looked like genetically in the Republican Age or the Imperial Age, so we have no way of knowing what and how much "other" ancestry was incorporated by them, which could then have made it's way up the peninsula. I also fail to see how "sporadic" Levantine could have had much of an impact. I think we might find those samples are indeed Levantine residents in the capital. There I agree with you.

    Once again, I think you are ignoring the impact of Greek colonization.

    We will only be able to revise these issues with facts when we have the paper in front of us.

    As always,
    True, I didn't consider the impact of Greek colonisation - some of the extra Iran_N that formed this Southern group could have come from there rather than the Middle East. It does seem unlikely that Middle Eastern migration would occur before the Imperial period. In fact, I'd say most of it came from the Greeks rather than the Middle East, as the additional West Asian ancestry during the period of the Roman Empire seems to have changed little. This extra Iran_N (from the Imperial period) was surely Middle Eastern, though, given the Lebanese-like samples.

    I concede, though, that the ancient Jews would have been Lebanese-like. I do think they would have looked different, for whatever reason, to the modern Lebanese though - I stand by my point of e.g. high red hair being unexplainable by European admixture. A typically West Asian Jordanian sample with light skin, red hair and blue eyes dates to the 3rd millennium BCE, so I think that Jews (and Ashkenazim in particular) preserved this ancestry better, before mixing with this Southern group after immigrating to Italy

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    I've edited my summary to reflect the contribution of the Greeks

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    I wonder when Y DNA J2 arrives - whether it relates to a copper or bronze age migration.

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    the Iran_N in Neolithic Italy must have crashed many ideas, i would bet that they tried first admixtures with steppes... and... oh, wait!
    Yamnayans in Neolithic Italy! when something is wrong finaly it pops up (or down), they needed to check with other pops, and EHG enters the penninsula when Urnfielders of Villanova start to cross the Alps, and so with the first IE languages to deal, Celtic and Italic.
    "What I've seen so far after my entire career chasing Indoeuropeans is that our solutions look tissue thin and our problems still look monumental" J.P.Mallory

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    Quote Originally Posted by berun View Post
    and EHG enters the penninsula when Urnfielders of Villanova start to cross the Alps, and so with the first IE languages to deal, Celtic and Italic.
    or the Danubian admixed Terramare...

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Is anyone really surprised that the Romans were autosomally southern Italian

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    im not very surprised...if i'm not wrong Roman dialect belonged to the southern dialects till the Renaissance...now is Central Italian

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    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    Is anyone really surprised that the Romans were autosomally southern Italian



    No

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    im not very surprised...if i'm not wrong Roman dialect belonged to the southern dialects till the Renaissance...now is Central Italian

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    Right roman dialect resembled the neapolitan one till the renaissance with the big inflow of florentines changed the landscape and shifted north the pronaunciation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etrusco View Post
    Right roman dialect resembled the neapolitan one till the renaissance with the big inflow of florentines changed the landscape and shifted north the pronaunciation.
    exactly

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    apology double post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    Is anyone really surprised that the Romans were autosomally southern Italian
    Oh, I can imagine there is some heart burning. :) There is a deafening silence about it from certain quarters. I'm afraid the late 19th century "anthropologists" and "historians" got this wrong too, just like they got the Mycenaeans wrong, yes?

    Technically, though, that's only true in the Imperial period, after, I believe, the incorporation of the southern parts of Italy. In the Republican period you have two groups it seems, one modern day Northern Italian like, and one Southern Italian like. What will be interesting to see is if the "northern" group is more "local" than the southern group, of if there was a division even before all the wars to incorporate the south. I've always believed that the patricians and plebeians were basically the same people, but perhaps not. If they weren't, then the conflicts were "ethnic" as well as "class" oriented struggles for power.

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    Let's hope someone has the sense to test early Samnite samples. Those will be much more informative of Original Italic DNA than the Latins who probably absorbed no insignificant number of Etruscans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Oh, I can imagine there is some heart burning. :) There is a deafening silence about it from certain quarters. I'm afraid the late 19th century "anthropologists" and "historians" got this wrong too, just like they got the Mycenaeans wrong, yes?
    Technically, though, that's only true in the Imperial period, after, I believe, the incorporation of the southern parts of Italy. In the Republican period you have two groups it seems, one modern day Northern Italian like, and one Southern Italian like. What will be interesting to see is if the "northern" group is more "local" than the southern group, of if there was a division even before all the wars to incorporate the south. I've always believed that the patricians and plebeians were basically the same people, but perhaps not. If they weren't, then the conflicts were "ethnic" as well as "class" oriented struggles for power.
    That's true of course, but the only cultures in Iron Age Italy I am aware of are the Apenninic cultures and the Urnfield descended cultures. The latter I strongly associate with Etruscans, but we'll see when we have the samples.

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    I see that same people who suggest that steppe-less Hittite samples are not representative and belong to Hattians now suggest that these Roman samples belong to mercenaries, slaves etc. ;))

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    My guess is that the northern italian like iron age group are the terramare refugees who brought cremation

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    It has been denied for a long time by some Italian users that Italy received post neolithic Near Eastern admixture, and based on the results the answer is clearly yes, with that being said modern South Italians would be the closest to ancient Romans while the Northerners have more foreign influence probadly coming from Celtic and Germanic tribes who left a significant genetic impact there but much less in the South.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markod View Post
    Is anyone really surprised that the Romans were autosomally southern Italian
    if they are , they do not know roman history.
    .
    do they also know, the Romans conquered Gaul/france, held large areas in Spain and invaded britain at least 2 generations before any attempt to invade alpine lands.
    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 Cato View Post
    My guess is that the northern italian like iron age group are the terramare refugees who brought cremation
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    I think the Iron Age is too late - the genetic divide must be between Villanova/Latial and Sub-Apenninic. We'll see which is which when the paper comes out.


    Though I think it's important to remember that the vast majority of Italic tribes did not cremate their dead. The Umbrians, Samnites etc. Practiced inhumation in the typically Indo-European style with bronze weapons and elaborate depictions of fight scenes in their necropolises. Some individuals were buried with chariots as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    I see that same people who suggest that steppe-less Hittite samples are not representative and belong to Hattians now suggest that these Roman samples belong to mercenaries, slaves etc. ;))
    The ones who had clustered near Syria and Iraqis would be certainly foreigners who came from the eastern part of the Roman empire and the ones who cluster with modern Aegean Greeks like the 3 remedello outlier sample would be similar to ancient Roman samples and maybe even resemble hittite/ Anatolia BA samples also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgewalley View Post
    It has been denied for a long time by some Italian users that Italy received post neolithic Near Eastern admixture, and based on the results the answer is clearly yes, with that being said modern South Italians would be the closest to ancient Romans while the Northerners have more foreign influence probadly coming from Celtic and Germanic tribes who left a significant genetic impact there but much less in the South.
    northerners ( north-east ) have danubian culture ( around modern hungary and east austria) plus celtic from south Germany....and also most likely anything north of the sava river
    north-west have gallic-celtic with indigenous ligurian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpluskx View Post
    I see that same people who suggest that steppe-less Hittite samples are not representative and belong to Hattians now suggest that these Roman samples belong to mercenaries, slaves etc. ;))
    We can't possibly know that yet, right?

    I mean, she didn't give any clues as to whether certain types were from tradesmen or middle class, "local" people with "local" or "Italian" isotope values, and other types were from Ostia and other ports, where you might expect traders, or from slaves' graves.

    Plus, it depends on the period, I think. Republican Era Rome was 60% modern Northern Italian like and 40% Southern Italian like, so I think the mercenary, slave thing is a non-starter for that period. It may be a reflection of the admixture between originally Italic speaking newcomers and the natives. We can't know because we have only one set of samples from southern Italy, and that's from just one corner of Sicily which had some Beaker influence. As Markod said, we need samples from Samnites and further south too, and from Etruria.

    I don't know what anyone could mean about "mercenaries" in Rome itself. It must be from someone who knows nothing about Roman history. If by "mercenaries" they mean Roman auxiliaries, then I think it's still a non-starter for a big chunk of the time. Until into the Empire, the legions were primarily composed of people from the Italian peninsula.

    The later Imperial period is different, but even then, most of the legions were stationed abroad, not in Italy, and certainly not in Rome.

    As for slaves, they were present in the Republic and later and in increasing numbers in the Imperial period, as were foreign merchants, and even groups like the Jews. It's hard to know how many would have contributed to the succeeding generations. So much depends on the genetics of groups further south in the Italian peninsula, who would definitely have been incorporated into the population.

    Generally speaking, I don't think most slaves had surviving progeny, certainly not miners, or galley slaves, or slaves worked to death in latifundia. Freed slaves of the type who would be working in Rome would only have progeny if they were freed (The Romans didn't have "breeding" farms as happened in the American south: more conquests meant there were always more slaves.), but you would normally be freed in later life, so less of a chance for surviving descendants.

    It always amuses me that in the imagination of these people all of the Roman slaves were from West Asia or North Africa. :) Don't they know how many slaves were taken from Gaul, conveniently nearby, and the Balkans, and Germania, and Spain. Selective vision, I guess. :) That's what happens when you approach everything through the lens of your own particular agenda instead of just following the facts.

    There's also the fact that urban centers are always the ones most destroyed during wars and invasions. I doubt most of the Imperial residents of Rome survived.

    Does this have anything to do with the Collegno samples? I don't think that we can extrapolate from them to all of Northern Italy at that time, although it is certainly true that Rome settled veterans there, and many would have been from southern Italy. As you can see below, the majority of the colonies were in the center. If a good part of the veterans were from southern Italy and Sicily, then that might partly explain the changing demographics. There are few in the Po plain because a lot of it was swamp until the Romans drained it.



    That should be added to the video, i.e draining swamps, thus producing more farmland and tamping down malaria. :)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgewalley View Post
    It has been denied for a long time by some Italian users that Italy received post neolithic Near Eastern admixture, and based on the results the answer is clearly yes, with that being said modern South Italians would be the closest to ancient Romans while the Northerners have more foreign influence probadly coming from Celtic and Germanic tribes who left a significant genetic impact there but much less in the South.
    Perhaps you should re-read the notes on the Republican period, which, after all, was the period of the "creation" of Rome. They were 60% modern Northern Italian like. Also, you're speculating far beyond the data we have.

    If you are referring to me, that is complete misinterpretation or deliberate misinformation, and extremely misleading. The truth is quite the contrary. What I said is that it might have started far back in the Neolithic, and might also have come with the Iran Neo like migrations of the Bronze Age. I argued about it constantly with people like Sikeliot and Fire Haired, who used to insist it all came from Near Eastern slaves and Moors. You're welcome to scour the site through the search engine and see if you can come up with anything to the contrary.

    The last person who so completely misunderstood people's posts and forgot even his own was Fire-Haired. You don't want to get a reputation for problems with reading comprehension.

    As for the "Levantine" signal it was sporadic, remember? It also disappeared. Perhaps it was the Jews leaving? The idea that the western Jews were formed by the admixture of Jewish men and some Italian women, a population which then went to France and the Rhineland, may need looking at again.

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