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Thread: Violence in the Corded Ware Advance against GAC

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    4 out of 5 members found this post helpful.

    Violence in the Corded Ware Advance against GAC

    Well, we knew it had to happen. We don't know, of course, if any women were spared.

    See:
    Hannes Schroeder et al (Willerslev certainly doesn't go for international teams.)

    "Unraveling ancestry, kinship, and violence in a Late Neolithic mass grave"

    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2.../30/1820210116


    "Significance

    We sequenced the genomes of 15 skeletons from a 5,000-y-old mass grave in Poland associated with the Globular Amphora culture. All individuals had been brutally killed by blows to the head, but buried with great care. Genome-wide analyses demonstrate that this was a large extended family and that the people who buried them knew them well: mothers are buried with their children, and siblings next to each other. From a population genetic viewpoint, the individuals are clearly distinct from neighboring Corded Ware groups because of their lack of steppe-related ancestry. Although the reason for the massacre is unknown, it is possible that it was connected with the expansion of Corded Ware groups, which may have resulted in violent conflict.

    Abstract

    The third millennium BCE was a period of major cultural and demographic changes in Europe that signaled the beginning of the Bronze Age. People from the Pontic steppe expanded westward, leading to the formation of the Corded Ware complex and transforming the genetic landscape of Europe. At the time, the Globular Amphora culture (3300–2700 BCE) existed over large parts of Central and Eastern Europe, but little is known about their interaction with neighboring Corded Ware groups and steppe societies. Here we present a detailed study of a Late Neolithic mass grave from southern Poland belonging to the Globular Amphora culture and containing the remains of 15 men, women, and children, all killed by blows to the head. We sequenced their genomes to between 1.1- and 3.9-fold coverage and performed kinship analyses that demonstrate that the individuals belonged to a large extended family. The bodies had been carefully laid out according to kin relationships by someone who evidently knew the deceased. From a population genetic viewpoint, the people from Koszyce are clearly distinct from neighboring Corded Ware groups because of their lack of steppe-related ancestry. Although the reason for the massacre is unknown, it is possible that it was connected with the expansion of Corded Ware groups, which may have resulted in competition for resources and violent conflict. Together with the archaeological evidence, these analyses provide an unprecedented level of insight into the kinship structure and social behavior of a Late Neolithic community."


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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    "The results indicate that the Globular Amphora/Złota group individuals harbor ca. 30% western hunter-gatherer and 70% Neolithic farmer ancestry, but lack steppe ancestry. To formally test different admixture models and estimate mixture proportions, we then used qpAdm (7) and find that the Polish Globular Amphora/Złota group individuals can be modeled as a mix of western European hunter-gatherer (17%) and Anatolian Neolithic farmer (83%) ancestry (SI Appendix, Table S2), mirroring the results of previous studies (4, 5)."

    "
    At Koszyce, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis revealed the presence of six different maternal lineages, whereas analysis of the nonrecombining region of the Y chromosome showed that all males carried the same Y chromosome haplotype: I2a-L801 (Table 1). We then estimated genomic runs of homozygosity (ROH) and found that the Koszyce individuals were not particularly inbred. Although a slightly larger section of the Koszyce genomes is contained within ROH compared with typical modern European populations (SI Appendix, Fig. S7), this signal is mainly driven by an increased fraction of short ROH (<2 Mb), which is indicative of ancestral restrictions in population size rather than recent inbreeding. On the basis of genome-wide patterns of allelic identity-by-state (IBS), we computed kinship coefficients between all pairs of individuals and applied established cutoff values for possible kinship categories (Materials and Methods). We find that the Koszyce burial represents a large extended family connected via several first- and second-degree relationships (Fig. 3 and SI Appendix, Fig. S9)."

    "Data on phenotypic traits based on imputed genotypes (Dataset S5) revealed that the individuals had mostly brown eyes, dark or dark-blonde hair, and intermediate to dark skin."

    "Interestingly, the older males/fathers are mostly missing from the grave, suggesting that it might have been them who buried their kin. The only father present in the grave is individual 10, whose partner and son are placed together opposite him in the grave. In addition, there is a young boy (individual 7), aged 2–2.5 y, whose parents are not in the grave, but he is placed next to other individuals to whom he is closely related through various second-degree relationships. Finally, there is individual 3, an adult female, who does not seem to be genetically related to anyone in the group. However, her position in the grave close to individual 4, a young man, suggests that she may have been as close to him in life as she was in death. These biological data and burial arrangements show that the social relationships held to be most significant in these societies were identical with genetic and reproductive relationships. However, they also demonstrate that nuclear families were nested in larger, extended family groups, either permanently or for parts of the year."

    Probably attacked when the men were hunting or tending the animals. The Americans did the same to Indian villages.

    "Social organization is most often aligned with settlement and subsistence patterns, and several studies (1315) suggest that Globular Amphora communities and other related groups specialized in animal husbandry, often with a main focus on cattle, and that they moved around the landscape to seek new pastures for their animals at different times of the year (see SI Appendix, section 1 for a more detailed discussion). This form of mobility is likely to have included fission-fusion dynamics in which a larger social unit, similar to the extended family, would split up into smaller groups, perhaps nuclear families, for certain purposes and parts of the year (16). This dynamic could explain the relatively high variation we observe in the 87Sr/86Sr isotope signatures at Koszyce. Similar to strongly patrilineal modes of social organization, such pastoral economic strategies have often been linked to Corded Ware groups that introduced steppe genetic ancestry into Europe (7, 17), and the two (social organization and economic strategy) are probably linked: Pastoral ways of life involve a high level of mobility within vaguely defined territories and with the groups’ main economic capital, their animal herds, exposed across the landscape, and thus harbor a significant potential for conflict with neighboring groups. One ethnographically known cultural response to this situation is to adopt an aggressive strategy toward competing groups in which male dominance, including patrilineal kin alliance, and warrior-like values prevail (18). Although we cannot be certain that the people at Koszyce shared these values, we show that they were organized around patrilineal descent groups, demonstrating that this form of social organization was already present in communities before the expansion of the Corded Ware complex in Central and Eastern Europe (13, 14)"

    Well, they were already mostly herders, and mobile, and patrilineal. So much for the newcomers brought a better adapted life style for survival.

    "Although it is impossible to identify the culprits of the massacre that took place at Koszyce around 2880–2776 BCE, it is interesting to note that it occurred right around the time when the Corded Ware complex started to spread rapidly across large parts of Central Europe, and it seems plausible that the group from Koszyce fell victim to some violent intergroup conflict related to the territorial expansion of Corded Ware groups or another competing group in the area. If the general interaction between Globular Amphora people and neighboring, steppe-related cultures (including early Corded Ware) was primarily hostile, it would explain why Globular Amphora individuals carry no steppe ancestry and, in part, why Europe experienced such a dramatic reduction in Neolithic genomic ancestry at this time (7, 17)."

    Of course, such violence occurred between Neolithic groups as well in times of scarcity. This is how human beings behave.

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    so, the Globular Amphora had the same lifestyle as the later Corded Ware people in similar environments
    it seems to be an adaptation of Yamna lifestyle to a forested environment
    the difference is that Corded ware had autosomal DNA similar to Yamna, and Globular Amphora didn't

    the Y-DNA I2a-L801 didn't become extinct
    as Maciamo pointed out, I2a-L801 is a Germanic branch which formed out of a merger of several different lines in the Nordic Bronze Age

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    Gimbutas thought that the GAC was a mixed culture with a superstrate of Steppe people (like Vucedol or Baden). Genetics proves her wrong in that, but if GAC people and CW had very similar subsistence strategies, grazing cattle around, some distance from "home", it is easy to understand she could have been misled by what evidence she had.

    The phenotypes are interesting. For some time, I had entertained the idea that the blond hair and fair skin in northern Europe might be GAC-derived. It doesn't seem to be the case.

    Incidentally: Killing a two-year-old child... that's hardly my definition of warrior-values!
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    Grampa, no! And the R1a brutal conqueror stigma lives on.

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    Maybe the father escaped and survived. Then he came back honored its pairs, then avenged them with fierce violence.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    Gimbutas thought that the GAC was a mixed culture with a superstrate of Steppe people (like Vucedol or Baden). Genetics proves her wrong in that, but if GAC people and CW had very similar subsistence strategies, grazing cattle around, some distance from "home", it is easy to understand she could have been misled by what evidence she had.

    The phenotypes are interesting. For some time, I had entertained the idea that the blond hair and fair skin in northern Europe might be GAC-derived. It doesn't seem to be the case.

    Incidentally: Killing a two-year-old child... that's hardly my definition of warrior-values!
    Previous GAC individuals from studies showd average Blonde Hairs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    Gimbutas thought that the GAC was a mixed culture with a superstrate of Steppe people (like Vucedol or Baden). Genetics proves her wrong in that, but if GAC people and CW had very similar subsistence strategies, grazing cattle around, some distance from "home", it is easy to understand she could have been misled by what evidence she had.
    The phenotypes are interesting. For some time, I had entertained the idea that the blond hair and fair skin in northern Europe might be GAC-derived. It doesn't seem to be the case.
    Incidentally: Killing a two-year-old child... that's hardly my definition of warrior-values!
    and there was a child executed without his mother, the fate of the mother could be even worse.
    "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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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Grampa, no! And the R1a brutal conqueror stigma lives on.
    Depends... For all we know, the "culprits" could just as well have been a rival GAC clan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    Previous GAC individuals from studies showd average Blonde Hairs.
    Actually i dont know why i thought it was in previous studies. It was on Genetiker calls he had almost 100% of GAC people with Blonde Hairs. Well Never mind.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    The authors seem to see it as a symptom of new arrivals. The archaeological data show there were nearby Corded Ware communities. When newcomers are on your doorstep it would seem strategically stupid to fight among yourselves. However, nobody ever said groups of people are always intelligent.

    As to the "lifestyles" or subsistence strategies, there have been more than a few papers proposing that initially the lifestyle changes originated among eastern European "farmers" and then moved onto the steppe, including the "carts" which they put to good use. We've discussed them before.

    Baden was also a "farmer" culture, btw.

    As to phenotypes, I looked at their charts, the hair was brown, not black, eyes brown. Either this family group just happened to be a bit darker, or genetiker was wrong. I never understood whether he used an actual forensic calculator or just used his own idiosyncratic "method". It would be nice if the authors of this paper actually released the snps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The authors seem to see it as a symptom of new arrivals. The archaeological data show there were nearby Corded Ware communities. When newcomers are on your doorstep it would seem strategically stupid to fight among yourselves. However, nobody ever said groups of people are always intelligent.

    As to the "lifestyles" or subsistence strategies, there have been more than a few papers proposing that initially the lifestyle changes originated among eastern European "farmers" and then moved onto the steppe, including the "carts" which they put to good use. We've discussed them before.

    Baden was also a "farmer" culture, btw.

    As to phenotypes, I looked at their charts, the hair was brown, not black, eyes brown. Either this family group just happened to be a bit darker, or genetiker was wrong. I never understood whether he used an actual forensic calculator or just used his own idiosyncratic "method". It would be nice if the authors of this paper actually released the snps.
    The calls for Blonde Hairs in GAC from Genetiker came with the old The genomic history of Southeastern Europe Mathiesen paper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey37 View Post
    Grampa, no! And the R1a brutal conqueror stigma lives on.
    we know of similar scenarios in neolithic europe so chances aren't that low that thisvwas done by someone else and not corded ware people.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Yes indeed, all the Neolithic male y was almost wiped out (but not the mtDan) by some special disease that only afflicted Neolithic men. Please!

    Goodness, what happened to all the Eurogenes type bragging about all the blonde, Conan like barbarians from the steppes who killed all the men and took all the women? Is everyone trying to clean up their act?

    @half alp,
    Nobody's results about anything should be taken at face value. The snps used and the methodology used should be published, i.e. transparent, so that others can see if the results can be duplicated.

    I don't see how anyone can argue with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Yes indeed, all the Neolithic male y was almost wiped out by some special disease that only afflicted Neolithic men. Please!
    i don't know what wiped out neolithic y. violence certainly happened. that this particular case has something to do with corded ware is probable looking at the time. but we can't say for sure here. killing everyone and taking the women ist not just a "steppe" thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    @half alp,
    Nobody's results about anything should be taken at face value. The snps used and the methodology used should be published, i.e. transparent, so that others can see if the results can be duplicated.

    I don't see how anyone can argue with that.
    This is my issue. I'm trying to understand what the autosomal DNA results are telling me, but it's difficult when every site has a different algorithm and gives decidedly different results. Trueancestry.com says I'm most closely related to kit #---, GEDmatch says I've got no match at all! Rather than discussing, "oh look, I'm a Roman," or "golly, I'm a blond haired descendant of the Steppe," we ought to be figuring out how to get consistent, replicable results from the resources we have. If we can't, it ain't science.

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    1 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ailchu View Post
    i don't know what wiped out neolithic y. violence certainly happened. that this particular case has something to do with corded ware is probable looking at the time. but we can't say for sure here. killing everyone and taking the women ist not just a "steppe" thing.
    Of course not, Ailchu. No need to be defensive. I never said or implied anything of the kind. In fact, I've pointed out on numerous threads what happened in Latin America and its similarity to what happened in Europe.

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    2 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    This is my issue. I'm trying to understand what the autosomal DNA results are telling me, but it's difficult when every site has a different algorithm and gives decidedly different results. Trueancestry.com says I'm most closely related to kit #---, GEDmatch says I've got no match at all! Rather than discussing, "oh look, I'm a Roman," or "golly, I'm a blond haired descendant of the Steppe," we ought to be figuring out how to get consistent, replicable results from the resources we have. If we can't, it ain't science.
    I don't think we should be putting gedmatch results or results from consumer genomics companies on the same level as the kind of analysis that was done here.

    Every paper I've seen analyzes the late neolithic farmers, who were the European "natives" prior to the arrival of steppe admixed people like Corded Ware people, as majority Anatolian farmer or EEF, depending on whether they use a sample from Anatolia or one from Europe when they took on a little WHG pretty soon after arrival, and a minority component related to WHG people like Loschbour.

    There's no confusion or controversy about it. It's about as settled science as anything can be.

    If another group of scientists used the published ADMIXTURE program they would get the same percentages if they were using the same reference samples. In fact, all of these Late Neolithic farmers all over Europe are somewhere between. say, 15-30% WHG.

    ADMIXTURE isn't the only tool, however. As the authors state, "we then used qpAdm (7) and find that the Polish Globular Amphora/Złota group individuals can be modeled as a mix of western European hunter-gatherer (17%) and Anatolian Neolithic farmer (83%) ancestry (SI Appendix, Table S2), mirroring the results of previous studies ."

    If they release the raw data of these samples, someone using the same tool should get the same result.

    There's fst analysis too, and PCAs, and new statistical tools are being created.

    What I was referring to is the fact that genetiker never, to my knowledge, published the name of the forensic prediction tool for physical traits which he used, or if he didn't use one, he never published his actual method. I don't trust any phenotype results where that hasn't been done, just on general principles.

    You can't do that. The analysis has to be able to be reproduced to see if it's accurate. Now, it may be that different GAC groups had different phenotype traits. It may be genetiker did use a recognized, tested program. He just should have published it.

    Now as to the amateur analysis you see floating around on the internet, that's another story. These tools are difficult to use, and easily manipulated, and have been. Now, in terms of this paper, for example, presumably the sample data will be released. In the extensive methodology section, I hope they show precisely what they did. For example, I would want to know exactly what populations they input.

    I hope I made my original comment somewhat clearer.

    As to something like mytrueancestry, yes, it was fun. However, I don't take that 3.4 something similarity to "Central Romans" completely seriously. First of all it's apparently based on a calculator made by Eurogenes, who, when all is said and done is an amateur working out of a basement somewhere who won't release his real name and where he works and who is paying him. The similarity to modern populations which that K15 of his provides is terrible for me, a 5 and a 6 "fit", although they are, to be fair, my two ancestral populations. MDLP is better. I get an almost 4 and an almost 5. Mytrueancestry is even worse: a 6 and a 7.

    So, all the amateurs are circling around the right values, but not very close. There are so many reasons for that. It could write a chapter on it.

    More importantly, yes, it was very interesting to see that using standard Admixture Calculators, even if they are Eurogenes', I'm pretty close to such an ancient sample in terms of similar ancestry. Is it really a ROMAN sample, and central Roman at that? I don't know. The only way to absolutely know that for sure would be if we had ancient samples from ancient Rome from the area of modern day central Italy from the same time period for comparison.

    What they're really saying is that people very similar to modern people from north/central Italy were living in Europe all those hundreds and hundreds of years ago in areas where there were Roman settlements.

    It may seem like splitting hairs, but I think that's the reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I don't think we should be putting gedmatch results or results from consumer genomics companies on the same level as the kind of analysis that was done here.

    Every paper I've seen analyzes the late neolithic farmers, who were the European "natives" prior to the arrival of steppe admixed people like Corded Ware people, as majority Anatolian farmer or EEF, depending on whether they use a sample from Anatolia or one from Europe when they took on a little WHG pretty soon after arrival, and a minority component related to WHG people like Loschbour.

    There's no confusion or controversy about it. It's about as settled science as anything can be.

    If another group of scientists used the published ADMIXTURE program they would get the same percentages if they were using the same reference samples. In fact, all of these Late Neolithic farmers all over Europe are somewhere between. say, 15-30% WHG.

    ADMIXTURE isn't the only tool, however. As the authors state, "we then used qpAdm (7) and find that the Polish Globular Amphora/Złota group individuals can be modeled as a mix of western European hunter-gatherer (17%) and Anatolian Neolithic farmer (83%) ancestry (SI Appendix, Table S2), mirroring the results of previous studies ."

    If they release the raw data of these samples, someone using the same tool should get the same result.

    There's fst analysis too, and PCAs, and new statistical tools are being created.

    What I was referring to is the fact that genetiker never, to my knowledge, published the name of the forensic prediction tool for physical traits which he used, or if he didn't use one, he never published his actual method. I don't trust any phenotype results where that hasn't been done, just on general principles.

    You can't do that. The analysis has to be able to be reproduced to see if it's accurate. Now, it may be that different GAC groups had different phenotype traits. It may be genetiker did use a recognized, tested program. He just should have published it.

    Now as to the amateur analysis you see floating around on the internet, that's another story. These tools are difficult to use, and easily manipulated, and have been. Now, in terms of this paper, for example, presumably the sample data will be released. In the extensive methodology section, I hope they show precisely what they did. For example, I would want to know exactly what populations they input.

    I hope I made my original comment somewhat clearer.

    As to something like mytrueancestry, yes, it was fun. However, I don't take that 3.4 something similarity to "Central Romans" completely seriously. First of all it's apparently based on a calculator made by Eurogenes, who, when all is said and done is an amateur working out of a basement somewhere who won't release his real name and where he works and who is paying him. The similarity to modern populations which that K15 of his provides is terrible for me, a 5 and a 6 "fit", although they are, to be fair, my two ancestral populations. MDLP is better. I get an almost 4 and an almost 5. Mytrueancestry is even worse: a 6 and a 7.

    So, all the amateurs are circling around the right values, but not very close. There are so many reasons for that. It could write a chapter on it.

    More importantly, yes, it was very interesting to see that using standard Admixture Calculators, even if they are Eurogenes', I'm pretty close to such an ancient sample in terms of similar ancestry. Is it really a ROMAN sample, and central Roman at that? I don't know. The only way to absolutely know that for sure would be if we had ancient samples from ancient Rome from the area of modern day central Italy from the same time period for comparison.

    What they're really saying is that people very similar to modern people from north/central Italy were living in Europe all those hundreds and hundreds of years ago in areas where there were Roman settlements.

    It may seem like splitting hairs, but I think that's the reality.
    I agree on ALMOST everything you wrote, and certainly amateur calculators have to be used with a degree of circumspection. The Gedmatch calculators, for example, make more sense if you take a really close look at the spreadsheets. But still, different calculator, very different results - some of them hard to reconcile.

    What I find much more troublesome is that the genetic LABS themselves don't seem to agree on much. 23andme says I am 49% Central Europe, when FTDNA makes me 69% British Isles (in Auvergne?). They don't even agree with... themselves sometimes! They change their chips, update your results, and what you get is light-years away from the previous version. Is that science? Science to me means: same causes, same consequences, mechanically, and indefinitely. OK, it's a science which is currently "under construction". But still.

    Concerning very deep ancestry, to be fair we must also concede that at some point it must be hard to distinguish between, for example, WHG proper, the Villabruna-like WHG genes that back-migrated to Anatolia before the farmers started moving, the WHG gene substrate in EHG, the CHG inherited by westerners from Kura-Araxes migrations via Anatolia, the CHG inherited via the steppe... It's all the same basic "bricks" that reappear in various places in our genetic buildup.

    Why don't those guys sit around a table, discuss things, and homogenize their procedures? They might lose in creativity, but also gain in credibility. And we people might begin to look at our results as reasonably reliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    I agree on ALMOST everything you wrote, and certainly amateur calculators have to be used with a degree of circumspection. The Gedmatch calculators, for example, make more sense if you take a really close look at the spreadsheets. But still, different calculator, very different results - some of them hard to reconcile.

    What I find much more troublesome is that the genetic LABS themselves don't seem to agree on much. 23andme says I am 49% Central Europe, when FTDNA makes me 69% British Isles (in Auvergne?). They don't even agree with... themselves sometimes! They change their chips, update your results, and what you get is light-years away from the previous version. Is that science? Science to me means: same causes, same consequences, mechanically, and indefinitely. OK, it's a science which is currently "under construction". But still.

    Concerning very deep ancestry, to be fair we must also concede that at some point it must be hard to distinguish between, for example, WHG proper, the Villabruna-like WHG genes that back-migrated to Anatolia before the farmers started moving, the WHG gene substrate in EHG, the CHG inherited by westerners from Kura-Araxes migrations via Anatolia, the CHG inherited via the steppe... It's all the same basic "bricks" that reappear in various places in our genetic buildup.

    Why don't those guys sit around a table, discuss things, and homogenize their procedures? They might lose in creativity, but also gain in credibility. And we people might begin to look at our results as reasonably reliable.
    I'm not sure it is the good methodology. Reich and Jena already have Hundred of pluridisciplinary Researchers that aligned on a same idea. But how does it tell us if they are right?

    If a group of people start to aligned themselves in a same direction, at some point, the idea they promote gonna be Formalized and become standard for everyone. Once again What if they are wrong?

    Btw, most of Physics and Mathematics theories are sometimes challenged by Amateurish 12 years old kids, i'm not sure why we should be that focus on " official " scientifical teams. As the exemple of Genetiker, do we know him? what if he is a Master in Genetic or Genomic? What if he have the abilities to do what all big laboratories can, but being independant? I'm not sure with all the values bring into professionnal teams here, they are not different than amateurs in terms of potential Bias, but worst, they have financers...

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    Genetiker lists all the SNP calls. Same methodology as HIrisPlex for pigmentation. His haplogroup calls are generally better and more transparent than those in most papers.

    His autosomal work is really bad though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    I agree on ALMOST everything you wrote, and certainly amateur calculators have to be used with a degree of circumspection. The Gedmatch calculators, for example, make more sense if you take a really close look at the spreadsheets. But still, different calculator, very different results - some of them hard to reconcile.

    What I find much more troublesome is that the genetic LABS themselves don't seem to agree on much. 23andme says I am 49% Central Europe, when FTDNA makes me 69% British Isles (in Auvergne?). They don't even agree with... themselves sometimes! They change their chips, update your results, and what you get is light-years away from the previous version. Is that science? Science to me means: same causes, same consequences, mechanically, and indefinitely. OK, it's a science which is currently "under construction". But still.

    Concerning very deep ancestry, to be fair we must also concede that at some point it must be hard to distinguish between, for example, WHG proper, the Villabruna-like WHG genes that back-migrated to Anatolia before the farmers started moving, the WHG gene substrate in EHG, the CHG inherited by westerners from Kura-Araxes migrations via Anatolia, the CHG inherited via the steppe... It's all the same basic "bricks" that reappear in various places in our genetic buildup.

    Why don't those guys sit around a table, discuss things, and homogenize their procedures? They might lose in creativity, but also gain in credibility. And we people might begin to look at our results as reasonably reliable.
    Thank you, this was exactly my point.

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    I agree on ALMOST everything you wrote, and certainly amateur calculators have to be used with a degree of circumspection. The Gedmatch calculators, for example, make more sense if you take a really close look at the spreadsheets. But still, different calculator, very different results - some of them hard to reconcile.

    What I find much more troublesome is that the genetic LABS themselves don't seem to agree on much. 23andme says I am 49% Central Europe, when FTDNA makes me 69% British Isles (in Auvergne?). They don't even agree with... themselves sometimes! They change their chips, update your results, and what you get is light-years away from the previous version. Is that science? Science to me means: same causes, same consequences, mechanically, and indefinitely. OK, it's a science which is currently "under construction". But still.

    Concerning very deep ancestry, to be fair we must also concede that at some point it must be hard to distinguish between, for example, WHG proper, the Villabruna-like WHG genes that back-migrated to Anatolia before the farmers started moving, the WHG gene substrate in EHG, the CHG inherited by westerners from Kura-Araxes migrations via Anatolia, the CHG inherited via the steppe... It's all the same basic "bricks" that reappear in various places in our genetic buildup.

    Why don't those guys sit around a table, discuss things, and homogenize their procedures? They might lose in creativity, but also gain in credibility. And we people might begin to look at our results as reasonably reliable.
    Personal genomics are separate from what the academic labs are doing with ancient dna, where there is general agreement on the major issues, I think.

    You're right that the results are very different by company when we're talking about personal genomics. The actual raw data is, of course, the same: it's your genome. The difference is the algorithms and how they group the reference samples, and indeed which reference samples they use, and then how they interpret the results. There's also a difference in what precisely they are marketing.

    They would each say, doubtless, that their method is better, so why should they change it?

    In their defense, I think it's an almost impossible task.

    There are too many layers, and most importantly political boundaries, often only a few hundred or even a thousand years old do not always equate to genetic boundaries. Take my own area as an example, what might be called the hinterlands of the ancient town of Luni on the coast of the Mediterranean in Northwest Italy. It was settled by Neolithic/Cardial farmers, then various Indo-European admixed Bronze Age groups, then Iron Age Gauls, then "Romans" from further south, then some Langobard lords. Let's not forget the Greek traders too. Politically, the people were first part of a "Ligurian" group, then part of Rome, then ruled by Langobards, then split between various medieval kingdoms: some areas ruled by Genova, the capital of Liguria, some by Modena of Emilia, some by the Tuscans under the Medici, some by all three. So, what are the people of the Lunigiana? Are they Emilians, Liguri, Toscani, all three or none of the above? I have ancestry from both Emilia and the heart of the Lunigiana, and even some from La Spezia itself, which has a lot of similarities to Tuscans. On every test I come out as half way between the Lombards of Bergamo and the Tuscans, but not very close to either. So, who is to blame that my fits aren't very good and some are downright terrible?

    In terms of Italy again, some of the personal genomics companies have a Southern Italian/Greek cluster. That means that northern Italians would get some of that but also quite a bit of French or German and a lot of northern Balkan. If a company looks at the spread of the data and sets up a separate Greek and and also a separate Italian cluster you're going to get some southern Italians with a lot of "Greek", and some Greeks, especially Greek Islanders and people of the Peloponnese, with a lot of "Italian". Is one better than the other? I don't honestly know. Looking back on my example, if a company created a "Northern Italian" cluster instead of a Balkan cluster, a lot of Balkanites would get a lot of "Italian".

    Do you see what I mean?

    Or let's look at the people of the "Low Countries" versus England. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. Northern Europeans as a whole are more homogeneous than Southern Europeans. In Britain, for example, none of their specific WHG survived and almost none of the British Neolithic. So, the big bulk of their ancestry is Beaker, which is a combination of about 50% Late Neolithic (majority EEF/minority WHG) and 50% "steppe", with maybe 60% EHG and 40% Caucasus/Iran like ancestry. That's the same group that went into the Low Countries and France, but perhaps in France more of the EEF survived. There's a cline even in the Low Countries. Then England was invaded by the Angles/Saxons/Jutes, a related people with lots of "steppe", but with more "eastern" ancestry perhaps and drifted enough so that they can perhaps be labeled "Germanic" vs "Celtic". In some areas that becomes 30-40% of the ancestry. Then the Danes/Vikings arrive, who were thought to be very different, but were also Germanics. Then the French arrive, some from areas very "Celtic" like, like Brittany, some with a bit of "Viking" ancestry like Normandy, some from northeast France, and so more "Germanic", but some also from Aquitaine and other southern areas, who are a bit different.

    Can you see where there might not be much difference between someone from eastern England and Jutland, or Holland? Or someone from Brittany versus Cornwall? Or looking south, someone from Aquitaine and someone from far northern Spain?

    France is particularly difficult because so little genetic testing has been done there. There's an old sample taken from students at the university in Lyon and a few from somewhere in southwestern France. So, how are the French going to test? Well, given that a lot of them have quite a bit of "Beaker"ancestry and the British have as well, they're going to get a fair percentage of "English" or British. The ones in the southwest as going to have a lot of "Spanish" perhaps, and the northern Spanish might get a lot of French.

    Those country designations are just names, arbitrary names drawn on a map. Yes, they are barriers to gene flow to some degree, more so in places isolated by the Alps and Sea like Italy, and therefore create some drift, and they're certainly different culturally, but genes are no respecters of lines on a map.

    It's my opinion that we're almost asking these companies to do the impossible. If you want to know the genealogy of your family, where they came from for hundreds and hundreds of years, then a family tree is the best bet. You get more understanding of your genetics by learning of the different migrations to your ancestral areas than by some of these tests.

    Anyway, that's my take on it.

    I've been at this for more than ten years and that's what I've concluded. As for which companies are "better", imo ancestry and 23andme are the most reliable. At least with 23andme they don't just rely on the few samples in academic papers, but include the genomes of their customers. I think perhaps Ancestry is also starting to do that? I think My Heritage is terrible, and so is Living DNA, but again, that's just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Personal genomics are separate from what the academic labs are doing with ancient dna, where there is general agreement on the major issues, I think.
    You're right that the results are very different by company when we're talking about personal genomics. The actual raw data is, of course, the same: it's your genome. The difference is the algorithms and how they group the reference samples, and indeed which reference samples they use, and then how they interpret the results. There's also a difference in what precisely they are marketing.
    They would each say, doubtless, that their method is better, so why should they change it?
    In their defense, I think it's an almost impossible task.
    There are too many layers, and most importantly political boundaries, often only a few hundred or even a thousand years old do not always equate to genetic boundaries. Take my own area as an example, what might be called the hinterlands of the ancient town of Luni on the coast of the Mediterranean in Northwest Italy. It was settled by Neolithic/Cardial farmers, then various Indo-European admixed Bronze Age groups, then Iron Age Gauls, then "Romans" from further south, then some Langobard lords. Let's not forget the Greek traders too. Politically, the people were first part of a "Ligurian" group, then part of Rome, then ruled by Langobards, then split between various medieval kingdoms: some areas ruled by Genova, the capital of Liguria, some by Modena of Emilia, some by the Tuscans under the Medici, some by all three. So, what are the people of the Lunigiana? Are they Emilians, Liguri, Toscani, all three or none of the above? I have ancestry from both Emilia and the heart of the Lunigiana, and even some from La Spezia itself, which has a lot of similarities to Tuscans. On every test I come out as half way between the Lombards of Bergamo and the Tuscans, but not very close to either. So, who is to blame that my fits aren't very good and some are downright terrible?
    In terms of Italy again, some of the personal genomics companies have a Southern Italian/Greek cluster. That means that northern Italians would get some of that but also quite a bit of French or German and a lot of northern Balkan. If a company looks at the spread of the data and sets up a separate Greek and and also a separate Italian cluster you're going to get some southern Italians with a lot of "Greek", and some Greeks, especially Greek Islanders and people of the Peloponnese, with a lot of "Italian". Is one better than the other? I don't honestly know. Looking back on my example, if a company created a "Northern Italian" cluster instead of a Balkan cluster, a lot of Balkanites would get a lot of "Italian".
    Do you see what I mean?
    Or let's look at the people of the "Low Countries" versus England. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. Northern Europeans as a whole are more homogeneous than Southern Europeans. In Britain, for example, none of their specific WHG survived and almost none of the British Neolithic. So, the big bulk of their ancestry is Beaker, which is a combination of about 50% Late Neolithic (majority EEF/minority WHG) and 50% "steppe", with maybe 60% EHG and 40% Caucasus/Iran like ancestry. That's the same group that went into the Low Countries and France, but perhaps in France more of the EEF survived. There's a cline even in the Low Countries. Then England was invaded by the Angles/Saxons/Jutes, a related people with lots of "steppe", but with more "eastern" ancestry perhaps and drifted enough so that they can perhaps be labeled "Germanic" vs "Celtic". In some areas that becomes 30-40% of the ancestry. Then the Danes/Vikings arrive, who were thought to be very different, but were also Germanics. Then the French arrive, some from areas very "Celtic" like, like Brittany, some with a bit of "Viking" ancestry like Normandy, some from northeast France, and so more "Germanic", but some also from Aquitaine and other southern areas, who are a bit different.
    Can you see where there might not be much difference between someone from eastern England and Jutland, or Holland? Or someone from Brittany versus Cornwall? Or looking south, someone from Aquitaine and someone from far northern Spain?
    France is particularly difficult because so little genetic testing has been done there. There's an old sample taken from students at the university in Lyon and a few from somewhere in southwestern France. So, how are the French going to test? Well, given that a lot of them have quite a bit of "Beaker"ancestry and the British have as well, they're going to get a fair percentage of "English" or British. The ones in the southwest as going to have a lot of "Spanish" perhaps, and the northern Spanish might get a lot of French.
    Those country designations are just names, arbitrary names drawn on a map. Yes, they are barriers to gene flow to some degree, more so in places isolated by the Alps and Sea like Italy, and therefore create some drift, and they're certainly different culturally, but genes are no respecters of lines on a map.
    It's my opinion that we're almost asking these companies to do the impossible. If you want to know the genealogy of your family, where they came from for hundreds and hundreds of years, then a family tree is the best bet. You get more understanding of your genetics by learning of the different migrations to your ancestral areas than by some of these tests.
    Anyway, that's my take on it.
    I've been at this for more than ten years and that's what I've concluded. As for which companies are "better", imo ancestry and 23andme are the most reliable. At least with 23andme they don't just rely on the few samples in academic papers, but include the genomes of their customers. I think perhaps Ancestry is also starting to do that? I think My Heritage is terrible, and so is Living DNA, but again, that's just my opinion.
    Quite thorough, and quite convincing. Maybe I expected too much of them. But look at my own case: I know I inherited genes from La Tène and Haslstatt Celts, and beyond that from Bell Beakers. I know southern Germany inherited a share of the same. I know Beakers invaded Britain. But I also inherited much from an Iberian-like farmer substrate. This should make it possible for a company to place me on a map more precisely than by saying I am 49% German-like, or 69% Irish-like. Maybe they shouldn't call it "ancestry", but specify it's a "ratio of shared ancestry" with given populations. It would be clearer. But of course, it might not sell so well.

    To be fair, in spite of all the inconsistencies I mentioned upthread, I have somehow managed to work my way through that muddle to fairly clear conclusions in terms of my own ancestry. Maybe Halfalp is right somehow, and by combining the approximations of the various calculators, we can sketch out something satisfactory in the end. But I have been hard at it for months, cross-checking data and results, reading papers and comments, etc. I am not sure every customer of these genomic companies goes to such lengths to sort it all out. Some people can end up feeling perplexed, or sceptical, or unsettled.

    I also agree that a family tree is a precious thing to have. Mine reaches back to the mid 1500s. But I'll never get beyond that, for lack of archives. Genetics has to take over at some point.

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