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Thread: Jewish populations - a subtle distinction

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyuiopman View Post
    Isn't there some evidence of separation between "the priestly class" (Cohens and Levines?) and others? But if I'm not wrong, Cohen genes appear in different Eastern Mediterranean populations outside of Jews.
    I wonder if these LBA Armenians weren't really Armenians but (possibly assimilated) Assyrians living in Armenia? Modern Assyrians are genetically similar to Armenians anyhow, but veer a bit more toward Palestinians whereas Armenians cluster a bit more toward European.
    I also wonder if it could alternately be from a Hurrian population from Syria/the Levant (maybe Urkesh)? If Proto-Hurrians were the Kura-Araxes culture but then became their own distinct culture at Urkesh in Syria they could be a genetic bridge between South Caucasians and Levantines. This could be possible if it was the earlier part of the LBA.
    I didn't find it in modern Assyrians, but you could be right about Hurrians or ancient Assyrians. I'll look at other South East European aDNA when I get some time, and also check on other Ashkenazi/Iranian Jewish yDNA that looks Armenian in origin rather than Levantine/Red Sea or European.

  2. #27
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    I have found another population estimated as having a direct trace of Armenian LMBA - modern Southern Italians. The trace is only small, and the profile is not suggestive of Ashkenazi origin, as it does not include an Egyptian-like aDNA component. Instead, I would suggest that Ashkenazis/Iranian Jews and Southern Italians shared a major North West Asian source (most likely dated to the 2nd millennium BC) that included Armenian LMBA and Levantine components. This might be the reason for the genetic similarity between Ashkenazis and Southern Italians, rather than Ashkenazis having migrated through Southern Italy and admixed there en route to their European diaspora.

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