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    Talk on Ancient Italian/Roman DNA over in Stanford.

    https://events.stanford.edu/events/823/82317/

    A 12,000-year Genetic History of Rome and the Italian Peninsula

    Wednesday, February 6, 2019
    12:00 pm
    Archaeology Center
    Sponsored by:
    Archaeology Center


    Ancient DNA has become a powerful tool for studying the human past. This talk highlights our team’s multidisciplinary approach to analyzing new genomic evidence from Rome and the Italian Peninsula in the context of the extensive archaeological and historical record of the region. We have built a time series of 134 ancient genomes that spans the last 12,000 years, from the Upper Paleolithic to the present, allowing us to present a contextually-situated discussion of genomic changes through time. This approach allows us to study changes ranging from individual traits of interest, such as lactase persistence, to broad population-level shifts. We see evidence that as Rome grew from a small city to an empire encompassing the entirety of the Mediterranean - or Mare Nostrum, ‘our sea’, as the Romans called it - and beyond, the city of Rome became a mosaic of inhabitants from across the empire and remained so even after the fragmentation of the Western Roman Empire. I will illustrate these general trends with case studies, such as paleogenomic data from Isola Sacra, the necropolis for the port towns of Ostia and Portus, in which contextualizing archaeological and textual evidence have been instrumental in understanding the genetic structure of the Roman population in our study.

    Hannah Moots is a PhD Candidate in the Stanford Archaeology Center and the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her research draws on bioarchaeological, paleoenvironmental and genomic lines of evidence to investigate connections between environmental change and human health. Her work examines the recursive relationship biological and cultural changes - such as pathogen burden, mobility patterns, and dietary shifts that came about in the Neolithic transition. She holds an MPhil in Archaeological Science from the University of Cambridge and her past research includes an archaeogenetic analysis of the dispersal of several domesticated crops, including taro (Colocasia esculenta) and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), and a paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the aridification of the Saharan Desert over the last 5,000 years at Gobero.

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    Wednesday, February 6, 2019
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
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    Could be interesting.
    I hope they won't just broadcast but also publish the study.
    I would expect Isola Sacra to have genomes from all over the mediterranean.

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    DNA from the Ostia crypt should be a good representative of Roman/Iron Age Central Italian DNA.

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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    DNA from the Ostia crypt should be a good representative of Roman/Iron Age Central Italian DNA.
    Ostia was Rome's seaport (along with Isola Sacra and Portus), how it can be representative of Roman/Iron Age Central Italian DNA?

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    Looking forward to this.
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    In a 1000 years would studying ancient DNA from the New York City of 2018 provide a good lens to make inferences about the American population as a whole? Color me a bit skeptical, but we'll see when the paper comes out. I don't know what Reich and Paabo are waiting for.


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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    In a 1000 years would studying ancient DNA from the New York City of 2018 provide a good lens to make inferences about the American population as a whole? Color me a bit skeptical, but we'll see when the paper comes out. I don't know what Reich and Paabo are waiting for.
    The fact that the samples come from port cities directly linked to the Roman metropolis also suggests to me that the results of this study should be read carefully. It'll probably indicate the degree of long-distance international travel and how much direct contact Central Italy had with the rest of the Empire and even beyond it, but I don't think it will be a good representation of what most of the population was like, especially as at least ~70% of them lived in rural areas even in such a highly urbanized area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    The fact that the samples come from port cities directly linked to the Roman metropolis also suggests to me that the results of this study should be read carefully. It'll probably indicate the degree of long-distance international travel and how much direct contact Central Italy had with the rest of the Empire and even beyond it, but I don't think it will be a good representation of what most of the population was like, especially as at least ~70% of them lived in rural areas even in such a highly urbanized area.
    Yes, that's my concern. Something like 13% of the total New York City population is Jewish, but only 1.4% of the U.S. population. You go to Queens, and it could be 25% and up for the Jewish population. This applies to Asians as well. Go up the Hudson to upstate New York or west into Pennsylvania, and it's an entirely different genetic group. These are the kinds of skews which are common.

    It may be interesting to know the make-up of the port cities of the Italian peninsula and of Rome itself, just as it was interesting to learn about the SSA people in Britain, or the Romans in Britain, for that matter, but it doesn't tell us how much of their genetic material had an important impact on the genomes of even modern day Lazio, much less the Veneto, as just one example.

    Hopefully, she also has contemporaneous genomes from places like the Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Toscana as well. I'd like to see genomes from sites in the south which were settled by the Greeks as well, and a comparison with ancient samples from Greece.

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    it says new genomic evidence from Rome and the Italian Peninsula

    we'll see how the samples are distributed in time and space

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    it says new genomic evidence from Rome and the Italian Peninsula

    we'll see how the samples are distributed in time and space
    Indeed. That's why I said we'd have to wait and see. I certainly hope she's a competent computational geneticist and not just an anthropologist, and that Spencer Wells isn't involved. Everything he's done recently has been sub-par imo.

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    We're getting sample DNA from at least Rome. And Rome for much of its history in the republic to empire from all evidence was overall homogeneous (that is, the foreigners were largely slaves who didn't have many children).

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    The talk starts today at 12:00 PM. A poster on Anthrogenica said he's going to it and will discuss what he saw there. See also: https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....s-quot/page192

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    The talk starts today at 12:00 PM. A poster on Anthrogenica said he's going to it and will discuss what he saw there. See also: https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....s-quot/page192
    It's amazing how obsessed the posters on anthrogenica are about Italian genetic history when they aren't even Italian. I wonder why? :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's amazing how obsessed the posters on anthrogenica are about Italian genetic history when they aren't even Italian. I wonder why? :)
    Indeed. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    The talk starts today at 12:00 PM. A poster on Anthrogenica said he's going to it and will discuss what he saw there. See also: https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....s-quot/page192
    Not sure what I need more, sleep or this study! I don't really expect any surprises, but it would be interesting to see when J2 arrived (I'm guessing 3rd millennium BCE with an expansion of warlike elites from West Asia; I think the spread of J2 during this period and the previous millennium is related to the spread of the Anatolian and Gutian branches of IE (so I actually think Minoan, Etruscan etc. are IE, and that Kura-Araxian J2 should be seen as equally IE as R1b and R1a)), and whether there was some very early R1b-L51 in the South (Gaudo culture etc.) as I'd guess that to be the case.

    Z2103 and J2 (obviously only specific branches of J2a and J2b, as J2 is old) have such a magnificent modern-day correlation that I'm puzzled at the lack of J2 in Yamnaya.

    Just look at this:





    I am fully convinced that R1b-M269 was in the Middle East at least as early as the 8.2 ky event, and I am also fully convinced in a Paleolithic diversification of R1 in the Zarzian culture (which has clear links to the Epigravettian). Everything between that, I'm still trying to work out. At the moment, I'm thinking R1b-P297 expanded at the very beginning of the Holocene from the Zagros to the Volga-Urals via the Caspian region, and that R1b-M269 moved back down to somewhere in the Northern Middle East perhaps as a result of the 8.2 ky event, but I'm changing my mind a lot. I definitely think R1b-M269 diversified around the Northern Middle East, though, just not sure whether early R1b-M269 originated there or not.
    Last edited by ToBeOrNotToBe; 07-02-19 at 02:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    Not sure what I need more, sleep or this study! I don't really expect any surprises, but it would be interesting to see when J2 arrived (I'm guessing 3rd millennium BCE with an expansion of warlike elites from West Asia; I think the spread of J2 during this period and the previous millennium is related to the spread of the Anatolian and Gutian branches of IE (so I actually think Minoan, Etruscan etc. are IE, and that Kura-Araxian J2 should be seen as equally IE as R1b and R1a)), and whether there was some very early R1b-L51 in the South (Gaudo culture etc.) as I'd guess that to be the case.

    Z2103 and J2 (obviously only specific branches of J2a and J2b, as J2 is old) have such a magnificent modern-day correlation that I'm puzzled at the lack of J2 in Yamnaya.

    Just look at this:





    I am fully convinced that R1b-M269 was in the Middle East at least as early as the 8.2 ky event, and I am also fully convinced in a Paleolithic diversification of R1 in the Zarzian culture (which has clear links to the Epigravettian). Everything between that, I'm still trying to work out. At the moment, I'm thinking R1b-P297 expanded at the very beginning of the Holocene from the Zagros to the Volga-Urals via the Caspian region, and that R1b-M269 moved back down to somewhere in the Northern Middle East perhaps as a result of the 8.2 ky event, but I'm changing my mind a lot. I definitely think R1b-M269 diversified around the Northern Middle East, though, just not sure whether early R1b-M269 originated there or not.
    There's no way Etruscan was IE. Only very fringe and mostly amateur people have ever proposed that. There are sufficient inscriptions to evaluate if Etruscan was IE, let alone related to Hittite, which is also fairly well known from inscriptions. Not everything revolved around IE-speaking peoples. Also, where did you take the idea that Gutians were definitely IE? Not from concrete evidences of linguistics or genetics AFAIK, but I know some people have speculated about that before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    There's no way Etruscan was IE. Only very fringe and mostly amateur people have ever proposed that. There are sufficient inscriptions to evaluate if Etruscan was IE, let alone related to Hittite, which is also fairly well known from inscriptions. Not everything revolved around IE-speaking peoples. Also, where did you take the idea that Gutians were definitely IE? Not from concrete evidences of linguistics or genetics AFAIK, but I know some people have speculated about that before.
    The Gutian IE is a best-guess thing (only hypothesis I've seen is some early relation to Tocharian, not sure how accurate that is), but it isn't important anyway. As for Etruscans and Minoans being Anatolian-like - I'm sticking by that. It doesn't seem to be an amateur-only hypothesis even if not consensus, and the description of the spread of warlike elites across the Aegean and beyond in this paper, as well as obvious parallels to Kura-Araxes and the spread of major CHG, seals it for me:


    "
    “DALL’ARMELLINA, Vittoria Ca'Foscari University of Venice, Department of Humanistic Studies, Sciences of Antiquity Images of a New Aristocracy – A koinè of symbols and cultural values in the Caucasus, Anatolia and Aegean during the Bronze Age The paper will present the preliminary results of the author's PhD project, which deals with the diffusion between the Southern Caucasus, Anatolia, the Aegean Islands, Crete and Mainland Greece, in the course of the Bronze Age, of selected types of insignia dignitatis. These apparently reflect the birth of a new ruling elite that maintains its power through military exercise, and is also associated to the spread of particular funerary customs (e.g. funerary burrows and other elite burial types) mainly. It becomes increasingly clear that these northern portions of the Near East share some cultural specificities witch set them apart from the better known traditions of Mesopotamia and the SyroLevantine region. A series of characteristics items, mainly weapons but also parade standards, and different types of ornaments, spread in this northern areas. They are strongly linked to a warlike symbolism, and characterise a warrior aristocracy whose concept apparently originated and developed between the Caucasus and Anatolia and spread from there toward mainland Europe, in particular towards the Aegean area. In the presentation, these concepts will be illustrated by the distribution of selected categories of items."


    So basically, I think Kura-Araxes is the origin of Anatolian, Gutian, Minoan/Pelasgian and Tyrsenian. Minoan has really strong evidence linking it to Anatolian from what I've seen at the very least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    The Gutian IE is a best-guess thing (only hypothesis I've seen is some early relation to Tocharian, not sure how accurate that is), but it isn't important anyway. As for Etruscans and Minoans being Anatolian-like - I'm sticking by that. It doesn't seem to be an amateur-only hypothesis even if not consensus, and the description of the spread of warlike elites across the Aegean and beyond in this paper, as well as obvious parallels to Kura-Araxes and the spread of major CHG, seals it for me:


    "
    “DALL’ARMELLINA, Vittoria Ca'Foscari University of Venice, Department of Humanistic Studies, Sciences of Antiquity Images of a New Aristocracy – A koinè of symbols and cultural values in the Caucasus, Anatolia and Aegean during the Bronze Age The paper will present the preliminary results of the author's PhD project, which deals with the diffusion between the Southern Caucasus, Anatolia, the Aegean Islands, Crete and Mainland Greece, in the course of the Bronze Age, of selected types of insignia dignitatis. These apparently reflect the birth of a new ruling elite that maintains its power through military exercise, and is also associated to the spread of particular funerary customs (e.g. funerary burrows and other elite burial types) mainly. It becomes increasingly clear that these northern portions of the Near East share some cultural specificities witch set them apart from the better known traditions of Mesopotamia and the SyroLevantine region. A series of characteristics items, mainly weapons but also parade standards, and different types of ornaments, spread in this northern areas. They are strongly linked to a warlike symbolism, and characterise a warrior aristocracy whose concept apparently originated and developed between the Caucasus and Anatolia and spread from there toward mainland Europe, in particular towards the Aegean area. In the presentation, these concepts will be illustrated by the distribution of selected categories of items."


    So basically, I think Kura-Araxes is the origin of Anatolian, Gutian, Minoan/Pelasgian and Tyrsenian. Minoan has really strong evidence linking it to Anatolian from what I've seen at the very least.
    None of that matters. Linguistically Etruscan is not IE and that's it. We have the language to see and analyze it, it's definitely not Anatolian and it could be at best described as a distantly related para-IE, but even that is a stretch that's mostly a wild speculation and nothing else. The hypothesis is the one that needs to adjust to the evidences, not the other way around.

    As for Minoan, if it were really strongly similar to Hittite or Luwian it probably would've been deciphered by now. Additionally Eteocretan, which is the best candidate for a descendant of Minoan, has not been successfully interpreted as related to any other IE language.

    It's like European colonialism: it didn't spread just one language or one language family. Ditto for a generspread of warlike elites across the Aegean and beyond in association with spread of major CHG. Look at the Anatolia/Caucasus in the modern era and add to the native language families there the Bronze Age language families we know once existed there. It is and was very multilingual even when genetically they might've become similar in some cultural ways (particular those pertaining to the state, war, economy, elite status symbols - such things are very easily borrowed by any people who wants to survive and preferably thrive while their neighbors adopt the same innovations. Even today that pattern is still totally the same), and they even might have spread similar admixtures (for example, higher amounts of CHG). That does not mean they were ethnically and linguistically homogeneous, though.

    Quite on the contrary, the evidence points to the opposite: the many language families we see there (and now) don't seem to have come from very remote lands, the land just seems to have not been thoroughly IE (let alone necessarily Anatolian/Proto-Anatolian) at all since the Bronze Age. For your hypothesis to make some sense, Anatolian and Tyrsenian had to derive from a much older culture than Kura-Araxes and had to have remained geographically separated for a lot longer time in order to explain such a huge linguistic differentiation.

    As for Gutians, I just think that you, I and everyone else have too little information to speculate about their language or even ethnic and genetic origins. The "Tocharian hypothesis" is widely rejected mostly because it relied on a couple of "sound-alikes" comparing a late 3rd millennium BC language (Gutian) to an Early Medieval language (Tocharian - I'm not sure if A or B) some 2500 years later. That's totally pseudoscientific. Additionally, considering the very early attestation of the names of several Gutian kings (~2200 B.C.), Gutian would be supposed to be a very archaic IE language still without too much linguistic divergence from the reconstructed PIE spoken only some 1000-2000 years before. Nonetheless, all the names of Gutian kings in the Sumerian list cannot be interpreted and deciphered easily (or difficultly, for that matter) as deriving from PIE roots. It's possible, but unlikely it was IE.

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    What's so odd about that? The Romans more or less started Western Civilization.

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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    What's so odd about that? The Romans more or less started Western Civilization.
    People like Sikeliot and his numerous socks on Anthrogenica, and Davidski/Eurogenes/Generalissimo or whatever he's calling himself now don't give a damn about the Romans and Western Civilization. Well, if Davidski could prove they're clones of Corded Ware he'd be happy to claim them, I guess, just as he wanted to claim the Mycenaeans. He in fact explicitly claimed they would turn out to be just like Corded Ware. That didn't work out so well. :)

    They have their own agendas. For their own reasons, personal in one case, Nordicist based on the other, they are desperate to prove that Italians are not "European", or at least not European in the sense of lots of descent from the holy Indo-Europeans. Years ago, on forumbiodiversity Mr. Davidski, or I think it was Polako on that site, opined that all Southern Italians should be kicked out of Europe because they were mongrels. Sikeliot wants them to be Levantine.

    It's completely bizarre, but there you have it.

    For some reason we attract this kind of garbage. Maybe we disrupt their ideology in some way. Who knows. It's just a shame that it should intrude on what should be intellectual and objective discussions.

    I do hope we get the data from this paper, and the paper from Reich/Paabo as well. I've been saying for years that all I have is questions. It's time for some answers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    People like Sikeliot and his numerous socks on Anthrogenica, and Davidski/Eurogenes/Generalissimo or whatever he's calling himself now don't give a damn about the Romans and Western Civilization. Well, if Davidski could prove they're clones of Corded Ware he'd be happy to claim them, I guess, just as he wanted to claim the Mycenaeans. He in fact explicitly claimed they would turn out to be just like Corded Ware. That didn't work out so well. :)

    They have their own agendas. For their own reasons, personal in one case, Nordicist based on the other, they are desperate to prove that Italians are not "European", or at least not European in the sense of lots of descent from the holy Indo-Europeans. Years ago, on forumbiodiversity Mr. Davidski, or I think it was Polako on that site, opined that all Southern Italians should be kicked out of Europe because they were mongrels. Sikeliot wants them to be Levantine.

    It's completely bizarre, but there you have it.

    For some reason we attract this kind of garbage. Maybe we disrupt their ideology in some way. Who knows. It's just a shame that it should intrude on what should be intellectual and objective discussions.

    I do hope we get the data from this paper, and the paper from Reich/Paabo as well. I've been saying for years that all I have is questions. It's time for some answers.
    Yeah, it is rather amusing - Sikeliot loves West Asians, Davidski hates them, and their opposites seem to converge on Italy and Greece.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    Yeah, it is rather amusing - Sikeliot loves West Asians, Davidski hates them, and their opposites seem to converge on Italy and Greece.
    Don't believe Sikeliot's current stories. For years he was Portuguese Princess and lots of other "Iberian" socks on theapricity, bashing the Southern Italians for having more inferior "Near Eastern" ancestry than the Portuguese (and by implication the Spanish) of his mother's people. All you have to know is that he hates his Sicilian father.

    Unfortunately, I've been around a long time, so I know where all the skeletons are buried. Their recent PC talk doesn't cut it with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo
    Presentation by Hannah Moots. No pictures, not allowed. Paper coming out in a couple of months, done with Pinhasi and Pritchard.
    134 genomes, spanning 12000s BP to Renaissance and enlightenment. 0.5-3.5X coverage.

    Vast majority of sampling sites concentrated in Rome and surrounds, lowlands of Latium around the Tiber River, up to Ostia, almost all restricted to Lazio. Some extend to Abruzzo, South Le Marche, none, or maybe one, in Tuscany, and on the South of Tuscany if that.

    Couple of samples from Sardinia.

    I'll give a PCA position and a ADMIXTURE description for each time period. Note that the ADMIXTURE only had Iranian, EEF, WHG, EHG and Levant_N, no CHG. Where Iran N appears, it may be a stand-in for CHG. There is something quite puzzling in the list below, mislabeling in the slides? But that doesn't explain it either.

    UPPER PALEOLITHIC
    All WHG

    NEOLITHIC
    Mostly EEF, some WHG. Some Iran_N, quite a significant quantity, as much as WHG. PCA position Between Sardinia and Maltese, east of Sardinia, closer to Sardinia than to Maltese

    BRONZE AGE (EARLY)
    Overlaps modern-day Sardinia, Iran_N percentage declines, WHG and EEF increases
    (Note that this represents a Europeanisation of the gene pool!)

    IRON AGE TO REPUBLICAN PERIOD (700-20BC)
    Note: Separated from previous period by 1000 year gap.
    Fewer samples, of those that exist 60% overlap with North Italy, 40% overlap with South Italy and Sicily, centroid of overall cluster in central Italy but no samples occur there, very wide spread.
    EHG appears, Levant N Appears for the first time, sporadic and inhomogeneous distribution, Iran_N increases further.

    IMPERIAL PERIOD
    Dense cluster centroid between Greeks, Cypriots, South Italians/Sicilians, and Syrians, closest to Sicilians. Long tail stretching from central cluster to Syrians and Iraqi Jews. Couple of Northern-shifted samples overlapping N Italy, France, Spain.
    Iran_N increases further, Levant N again sporadic and inhomogeneous.

    LATE ANTIQUITY
    Tight cluster centroid in S Italy, in the same place as in the previous period. Southern tail to Middle East disappears. N Italian, Northern European and NW European outliers exist.

    AFTER
    Resemble modern central Italians.

    Lactase persistence alleles appear abruptly after 0 AD.

    Heterozygosity reaches modern level after Iron Age.

    No information given on uniparentals.
    Isotope information not available yet, no way apart from archaeological context to tell between migrants and locals.

    Represents a preliminary effort, more work coming later.

    Questions:
    Why is Italian Neolithic different from all other European Neolithic??? Eastern shifted with Iranian ancestry since the beginning
    Ans: Dunno

    Do the different cluster centroids (N, S, S, N again) represent migratory fluxes within Italy and also from outside?
    Ans: Probably

    More sampling is needed, much more, populations much more inhomogeneous than in other archaeogenetic studies.
    That's what he recorded.

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    Iron Age results are... interesting too. Especially the part about EHG - I'm trying not to bias myself towards thinking about pigmentation, but this perhaps explains why lots of the patricians were described as having light features. The part about the arrival of Levantine ancestry also seems to play into stereotypes about e.g. Sicilians...

    The Imperial period results suggest that lots of the Middle Eastern ancestry in Southern Italians actually comes from migrants from the Roman Empire? The part about Syrians and Iraqi Jews is clearly a reference to the idea that Middle Eastern immigration caused part of this shift (and I suppose the presence of Y DNA e.g. R1a and Q1b in Sicily is a huge giveaway to this idea, as that can only have come from the 2nd millennium BCE at the very earliest (it only arrived in West Asia with the Indo-Iranians).

    LOL, somehow this actually seems to play into BOTH Davidski and Sikeliot's fantasies.

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    How was there not an increase in Steppe ancestry (EHG as a tracer for this) in the Early Bronze Age? From what he said, it seems like this ancestry only arrived in the Iron Age - what?!

    It would be great to know if this Bronze Age increase in WHG and EEF was more pronounced in terms of WHG or in terms of EEF. The Beaker groups in Central Europe were very WHG rich (compared to, say, the more obvious Steppe groups like CWC), so perhaps this is from a theoretical pre-Steppe admixed Bell Beaker group. The other alternative is that Iran_N was an elite element in the Chalcolithic, and that during the Early Bronze Age this had been diluted with the EEF natives. Still, I would have expected some EHG if this is Bronze Age. Perhaps the arrival of U152 Beaker folk was initially limited to Northern Italy?

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