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Thread: 40.000 years of human presence in Southern Europe: the Italian case study

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    40.000 years of human presence in Southern Europe: the Italian case study

    40.000 years of human presence in Southern Europe: the Italian case study

    file:///C:/Users/User/AppData/Local/Temp/preprints202106.0124.v1.pdf


    Since Upper Palaeolithic, around 45,000 years ago, modern humans have inhabited there [4,5], and during the LGM (18,000-20,000 years ago) Italy and the other Southern Mediterranean areas were used as refugia from the North. The Italian Peninsula also played a major role in spreading the farming lifestyle, through at least two diffusion routes: one started from Apulia, where the most ancient findings associated with farming werediscovered and following the Eastern coast reached the North, while the other started from East Sicily and travelled up along the Tyrrhenian coast [6].
    Fathers mtdna ...... T2b17
    Grandfather mtdna ... T1a1e
    Sons mtdna ...... K1a4p
    Mothers line ..... R1b-S8172
    Grandmother paternal side ... I1-CTS6397
    Wife paternal line ..... R1a-Z282

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    Torzio: Thanks for the paper, I downloaded and took a quick look at it. Very interesting read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Torzio: Thanks for the paper, I downloaded and took a quick look at it. Very interesting read.
    file:///C:/Users/User/AppData/Local/Temp/preprints202106.0124.v1.pdf

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    Nice find!

    Also, here is the link:
    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202106.0124/v1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Nice find!

    Also, here is the link:
    https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202106.0124/v1
    … the ancient Greek cities of Italy, although culturally Greek, were created by a mixed population of both Greek settlers and local populations. Nor were the Greek cities surrounded by a “barbarian” hinterland…

    The Lost Cities of Ancient Apulia – South-East Italy:

    https://beyondforeignness.org/7850
    Last edited by Salento; 10-06-21 at 07:04.

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    Delia, … about 24.000 years old Apulian,
    one-to-one … 3.7 Generations … … some genes are Immortal :)

    … from older Post, different R-Data / settings:
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...l=1#post621303



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    Starting from the Middle Bronze Age (3,750-3,450 ya), Sicilian samples show a considerable shift in the PCA towards Minoans and Mycenaeans (Figure 3A, Minoans and Mycenaeans are grouped in the Balkan area in green) and can be modelled with the Iranian-related component in a percentage around 15%. This data opens up the fascinating possibility that this mysterious ancestry must have reached Southern Italy before the occupation of the southern coastal areas of Italy (Magna Graecia).
    Fantastic, this is what I have been saying for a good while now.

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    There are definitely some things I disagree with about this paper, I think it is rather obvious that the Etruscans were autochthonous.


    Also, I always find it odd that these papers seem to imply that the Roman Empire had a big impact on genetics (Based on one study that examined an immigrant cemetery), when in the very next section, they have to admit there was a big demographic shift!


    While it is nice to see that some geneticists think that some CHG/IN probably arrived in the south prior to the 8th century BC Greeks, as I have speculated for a while. Some other aspects of this paper seem a bit shallow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    There are definitely some things I disagree with about this paper, I think it is rather obvious that the Etruscans were autochthonous.


    Also, I always find it odd that these papers seem to imply that the Roman Empire had a big impact on genetics (Based on one study that examined an immigrant cemetery), when in the very next section, they have to admit there was a big demographic shift!

    To me, this paper seems a bit shallow...
    Other than for a few tidbits it's basically a regurgitation of things that everybody knows. However, in the case of the Etruscans it's as if they never read Antonio et al.

    Unfortunately, Alberto Piazza, who is the head of this group and one of the ancients in Italian academia who will never retire and loosen his grip on the work produced by his university, was on record for decades as supporting the Herodotus myth that the Etruscans came from Anatolia in the first millennia B.C. He just can't admit he was wrong for so long and that other Italian geneticists, and archaeologists, thought he was wrong.

    The only thing this paper does is reflect badly on him.

    (This is why so many Italian geneticists wind up at foreign universities; it's part of our "brain drain" and very worrying.)


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Other than for a few tidbits it's basically a regurgitation of things that everybody knows. However, in the case of the Etruscans it's as if they never read Antonio et al.

    Unfortunately, Alberto Piazza, who is the head of this group and one of the ancients in Italian academia who will never retire and loosen his grip on the work produced by his university, was on record for decades as supporting the Herodotus myth that the Etruscans came from Anatolia in the first millennia B.C. He just can't admit he was wrong for so long and that other Italian geneticists, and archaeologists, thought he was wrong.

    The only thing this paper does is reflect badly on him.

    (This is why so many Italian geneticists wind up at foreign universities; it's part of our "brain drain" and very worrying.)
    Sadly, it seems often we need to read between the lines of these kind of papers, by looking at the hard data, to get around the obligatory "theories". Also, remembering what was written in past papers, because we can't trust other papers' interpretations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Sadly, it seems often we need to read between the lines of these kind of papers, by looking at the hard data, to get around the obligatory "theories". Also, remembering what was written in past papers, because we can't trust other papers' interpretations.
    It gave me no pleasure to trash an Italian written paper, but these old and selfish academics need to retire and stop stifling Italian research.

    Same goes for some of them in the music industry. If I have to watch another old coot with dyed hair "presenting" and trying to act as gatekeeper for Italian music while surrounded by "showgirls" young enough to be his granddaughters, I may barf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Nice find!

    There are definitely some things I disagree with about this paper, I think it is rather obvious that the Etruscans were autochthonous.

    There is nothing new, only the desperate attempt of Alberto Piazza's pupils to deny the evidence in front of the ancient DNA. That is very simple, that they were wrong.
    The Italian university system is baronial, and the old barons still impose their (wrong) ideas on their disciples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Other than for a few tidbits it's basically a regurgitation of things that everybody knows. However, in the case of the Etruscans it's as if they never read Antonio et al.

    Unfortunately, Alberto Piazza, who is the head of this group and one of the ancients in Italian academia who will never retire and loosen his grip on the work produced by his university, was on record for decades as supporting the Herodotus myth that the Etruscans came from Anatolia in the first millennia B.C. He just can't admit he was wrong for so long and that other Italian geneticists, and archaeologists, thought he was wrong.

    The only thing this paper does is reflect badly on him.

    (This is why so many Italian geneticists wind up at foreign universities; it's part of our "brain drain" and very worrying.)

    Formally he is retired, but it is all too evident that his disciples are still heavily influenced by him today and cannot contradict him. The study they use there as a source, the ridiculous one from 2014, is one of the biggest hoaxes in population genetics, because that model can be applied to all of Italy and many modern populations of Europe.

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    What are the conclusions? What did we learn from this paper? I read it and I was waiting for a Conclusions or Discussion heading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    What are the conclusions? What did we learn from this paper. I read it and I was waiting for a Conclusions or Discussion heading.
    It is not a real study, there are no new samples analyzed, it is more an attempt to make a recap of the current situation, but it is a recap that does not have a neutral point of view but tries to impose the view of a specific group of Italian geneticists who have never worked on ancient DNA. They are have been very powerful in Italy, they have controlled the sampling of modern Italians from the beginning, and have repeatedly clashed with Italian archaeologists, linguists, and anthropologists. The ancient DNA is showing that they were wrong on many theories, but they continue to pretend nothing, showing a huge lack of intellectual honesty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Fantastic, this is what I have been saying for a good while now.
    That to me was the biggest take away I got from the paper as well. Sicilians and Southern Italians already had ancestry similar to ancient Greeks well before the Greek period starting in the 8th Century BC. Therefore, the close genetic relationship between Modern Southern Italians and R437 and R850 from the Antonio et al 2019 paper is not as Salento keeps pointing out, correctly, due to those 2 samples being statistical outliers. Again, as Salento has documented over and over again from the Antonio et al 2019 paper (From Supplemental text), those 2 samples, which coincidentally happen to be very close to modern Southern Italians, are not outliers, to the chagrin of certain segments of people who follow DNA and archeology research.
    Last edited by Palermo Trapani; 10-06-21 at 17:20. Reason: editing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    That to me was the biggest take away I got from the paper as well. Sicilians and Southern Italians already had ancestry similar to ancient Greeks well before the Greek period starting in the 8th Century BC. Therefore, the close genetic relationship between Modern Southern Italians and R437 and R850 from the Antonio et al 2019 paper is not a Salento keeps pointing out, correctly, are not due to those 2 samples being statistical outliers. Again, as Salento as documented over and over again from the Antonio et al 2019 paper (From Supplemental text), those 2 samples, which coincidentally happen to be very close to modern Southern Italians, are not outliers, to the chagrin of certain segments of people who follow DNA and archeology research.
    Indeed, these have also been my sentiments on the two samples, but also the entire C6 cohort from Antonio et al 2019:

    Eupedia Ancient Ethnicities Checker: reliably compare your DNA to ancient populations - Page 10

    Eupedia Ancient Ethnicities Checker: reliably compare your DNA to ancient populations

    Eupedia Ancient Ethnicities Checker: reliably compare your DNA to ancient populations

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    That to me was the biggest take away I got from the paper as well. Sicilians and Southern Italians already had ancestry similar to ancient Greeks well before the Greek period starting in the 8th Century BC. Therefore, the close genetic relationship between Modern Southern Italians and R437 and R850 from the Antonio et al 2019 paper is not a Salento keeps pointing out, correctly, are not due to those 2 samples being statistical outliers. Again, as Salento as documented over and over again from the Antonio et al 2019 paper (From Supplemental text), those 2 samples, which coincidentally happen to be very close to modern Southern Italians, are not outliers, to the chagrin of certain segments of people who follow DNA and archeology research.

    The idea that Sicilians and Southern Italians already had ancestry similar to ancient Greeks well before the Greek period starting in the 8th Century BC. comes first of all from common sense (I never bought the idea that the southern Italians were similar to the northern Italians of the Iron Age and then moved further south only thanks to the migrations of the imperial age), from archaeology that assumes deep contacts between southern Italy and the Aegean already in the bronze, and from ancient DNA, see recent studies that have analyzed samples of Sicily of the Bronze Age. The Italian cline was formed definitively after the fall of Rome, when in the Middle Ages the pre-unitary states began to form and Italians gruadually stopped for centuries to move from one part of the country to another. Of course, there continued to be small movements. Like that, for example, of the northern Italians who after the Norman conquest settled in Sicily and Basilicata, or like the Albanians, Balkanites and even Slavs who after the Turkish expansion migrated to Italy, especially in southern Italy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    It is not a real study, there are no new samples analyzed, it is more an attempt to make a recap of the current situation, but it is a recap that does not have a neutral point of view but tries to impose the view of a specific group of Italian geneticists who have never worked on ancient DNA. They are have been very powerful in Italy, they have controlled the sampling of modern Italians from the beginning, and have repeatedly clashed with Italian archaeologists, linguists, and anthropologists. The ancient DNA is showing that they were wrong on many theories, but they continue to pretend nothing, showing a huge lack of intellectual honesty.
    Pax: Without getting into the politics of the Italian Academy, which I know little about other than what some Italian friends living here in the USA have told me, there are typically papers that are published in respective fields that are "Reviews of the Literature" etc. So I personally kind of see this paper in that light. It synthesizes the Literature on Italian DNA, both ancient and modern, to come up with what we can know for sure (based on the evidence) and some unresolved questions that needs more DNA to be analyzed. Of course, from what I gather, the lead author seems entrenched to some of his positions even though the evidence to date does not support his theories (i.e. The Etruscans).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    The idea that Sicilians and Southern Italians already had ancestry similar to ancient Greeks well before the Greek period starting in the 8th Century BC. comes first of all from common sense (I never bought the idea that the southern Italians were similar to the northern Italians of the Iron Age and then moved further south only thanks to the migrations of the imperial age), from archaeology that assumes deep contacts between southern Italy and the Aegean already in the bronze, and from ancient DNA, see recent studies that have analyzed samples of Sicily of the Bronze Age. The Italian cline was formed definitively after the fall of Rome, when in the Middle Ages the pre-unitary states began to form and Italians gruadually stopped for centuries to move from one part of the country to another. Of course, there continued to be small movements. Like that, for example, of the northern Italians who after the Norman conquest settled in Sicily and Basilicata, or like the Albanians, Balkanites and even Slavs who after the Turkish expansion migrated to Italy, especially in southern Italy.
    Pax Augusta: For the record, I never bought it either. My post was more directed at other groups of people who live primarily North of the Alps or are Americans whose ancestors are from said regions. I have most of the papers on Ancient Sicilian DNA and If I haven't read it it is likely because I missed it and not aware of it. So while the paper might have some problems with respect to the Etruscans, as you noted, I think the authors have summarized the Southern Italian and Sicilian situation accurately. The ancestry in R437 and R850 was already present in Southern Italy and Sicily before the Iron Age or Republican Rome. So those 2 samples being very close to Me, Salento, Jovialis, etc is not a big surprise again to the chagrin of some folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Pax: Without getting into the politics of the Italian Academy, which I know little about other than what some Italian friends living here in the USA have told me, there are typically papers that are published in respective fields that are "Reviews of the Literature" etc. So I personally kind of see this paper in that light. It synthesizes the Literature on Italian DNA, both ancient and modern, to come up with what we can know for sure (based on the evidence) and some unresolved questions that needs more DNA to be analyzed. Of course, from what I gather, the lead author seems entrenched to some of his positions even though the evidence to date does not support his theories (i.e. The Etruscans).
    On the Etruscans they are only defending their old boss, who is an old-fashioned geneticist who has never worked on ancient DNA and who since the late '80s began a work on pre-Roman Italy, already criticized abroad by Robert R. Sokal, which was based on a complete lack of archaeological, anthropological and linguistic knowledge of ancient Italy, and adhered to many theories already discredited by archaeology and even anthropology.


    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Pax Augusta: For the record, I never bought it either. My post was more directed at other groups of people who live primarily North of the Alps or are Americans whose ancestors are from said regions. I have most of the papers on Ancient Sicilian DNA and If I haven't read it it is likely because I missed it and not aware of it. So while the paper might have some problems with respect to the Etruscans, as you noted, I think the authors have summarized the Southern Italian and Sicilian situation accurately. The ancestry in R437 and R850 was already present in Southern Italy and Sicily before the Iron Age or Republican Rome. So those 2 samples being very close to Me, Salento, Jovialis, etc is not a big surprise again to the chagrin of some folks.

    The authors more accurately summarized the situation in Southern Italy and Sicily because they had no old research of their own to defend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    The idea that Sicilians and Southern Italians already had ancestry similar to ancient Greeks well before the Greek period starting in the 8th Century BC. comes first of all from common sense (I never bought the idea that the southern Italians were similar to the northern Italians of the Iron Age and then moved further south only thanks to the migrations of the imperial age), from archaeology that assumes deep contacts between southern Italy and the Aegean already in the bronze, and from ancient DNA, see recent studies that have analyzed samples of Sicily of the Bronze Age. The Italian cline was formed definitively after the fall of Rome, when in the Middle Ages the pre-unitary states began to form and Italians gruadually stopped for centuries to move from one part of the country to another. Of course, there continued to be small movements. Like that, for example, of the northern Italians who after the Norman conquest settled in Sicily and Basilicata, or like the Albanians, Balkanites and even Slavs who after the Turkish expansion migrated to Italy, especially in southern Italy.
    Agreed, the other idea was more the position of racists, and ironically uber-liberals; who are ever the odd-bedfellows in questions of ethnicity, and history. I guess it takes an impartial and informed mind to see that it is a canard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    On the Etruscans they are only defending their old boss, who is an old-fashioned geneticist who has never worked on ancient DNA and who since the late '80s began a work on pre-Roman Italy, already criticized abroad by Robert R. Sokal, which was based on a complete lack of archaeological, anthropological and linguistic knowledge of ancient Italy, and adhered to many theories already discredited by archaeology and even anthropology.





    The authors more accurately summarized the situation in Southern Italy and Sicily because they had no old research of their own to defend.
    Pax Augusta: Well I was as I alluded to not aware that Professor Piazza is one of these academics who has theories that are so entrenched, he can't allow anything that challenges his world view to be published, etc or he restricts his Doctoral Students from drawing conclusions that contradict his theoretical world view (The Etruscan question). So as you note, since he had no "skin in the game" to use an American Idiom" with respect to Sicilian and Southern Italian DNA, he or his pupils in this case (the research team on this paper) more accurately summarized the situation. So in the context of the Southern Italian and Sicilian situation within the context of ancient DNA and modern DNA questions, I was glad to see this paper make the conclusions it made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Pax Augusta:
    Everything starts from these "Synthetic maps of human gene frequencies" that were elaborated between '80s and '90s, and that they tried to demonstrate with subsequent research based on increasing circular arguments. Until the whole-Genome of ancient DNA arrived and further discredited what they were trying to prove aprioristically.

    "Synthetic maps of human gene frequencies, which are maps of principal component scores based on correlations of interpolated surfaces, have been popularized widely by L. Cavalli-Sforza, P. Menozzi, and A. Piazza. Such maps are used to make ethnohistorical inferences or to support various demographic or historical hypotheses. We show from first principles and by analyses of real and simulated data that synthetic maps are subject to large errors and that apparent geographic trends may be detected in spatially random data. We conclude that results featured as synthetic maps should be approached with considerable caution."

    https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol84/iss5/12/
    Last edited by Pax Augusta; 10-06-21 at 23:37.

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    Pax Augusta: Well I don't think Principal Components analysis is wrong, it has its strengths and when used correctly is a valid statistical methodology. I was taught it in Graduate School some 25 or so years ago but I don't use it in anything that I do. It seems that Professor Piazza was using data from the 80's and 90's, well before the explosion of ancient DNA and even before the human genome was finally finished and drew inferences based on the data from that time period, which of course was very limited.

    So from what you wrote, it seems the issue was more the DNA data they used was more of the problem in that there data that they ran principal components on was what caused incorrect inferences, not Principal components itself. Much of the current DNA research that we read here uses PCA but of course they are using much better DNA samples from a wide range of periods, etc. I went to the link you provided and couldn't get the paper so my statements above are only based on what was presented in the abstract and thus I may be incorrect in my assessment.

    Anyway, thanks for the dialogue, Buona giornata.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palermo Trapani View Post
    Pax Augusta: Well I don't think Principal Components analysis is wrong, it has its strengths and when used correctly is a valid statistical methodology. I was taught it in Graduate School some 25 or so years ago but I don't use it in anything that I do. It seems that Professor Piazza was using data from the 80's and 90's, well before the explosion of ancient DNA and even before the human genome was finally finished and drew inferences based on the data from that time period, which of course was very limited.

    So from what you wrote, it seems the issue was more the DNA data they used was more of the problem in that there data that they ran principal components on was what caused incorrect inferences, not Principal components itself. Much of the current DNA research that we read here uses PCA but of course they are using much better DNA samples from a wide range of periods, etc. I went to the link you provided and couldn't get the paper so my statements above are only based on what was presented in the abstract and thus I may be incorrect in my assessment.

    Anyway, thanks for the dialogue, Buona giornata.
    The Principal Components analysis can be done with everything, it is not the PCA, a multivariate technique, that has been criticized. Synthetic maps of human gene frequencies have nothing to do with Genome-based Principal Components analysis, Synthetic maps weren't even based on the autosomal DNA of modern samples, they were a completely different stuff created at the end of 70s.

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