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Thread: Bioarchaeological analysis of one of the earliest Islamic burials in the Levant

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    Bioarchaeological analysis of one of the earliest Islamic burials in the Levant

    Earliest Islamic burials in the Levant

    Abstract


    The Middle East plays a central role in human history harbouring a vast diversity of ethnic, cultural and religious groups. However, much remains to be understood about past and present genomic diversity in this region. Here, we present for the first time, a multidisciplinary bioarchaeological analysis of two individuals dated to late 7th and early 8th centuries from Tell Qarassa, an open-air site in modern-day Syria. Radiocarbon dates, religious and cultural burial evidence indicate that this site represents one of the earliest Islamic Arab burials in the Levant during the Late Antiquity period. Interestingly, we found genomic similarity to a genotyped group of modern-day Bedouins and Saudi rather than to most neighbouring Levantine groups. This is highlighted through substantial Neolithic Levant ancestry in our samples, inviting an alternative scenario of long-term continuity in this region. This raises questions about the influence of ancient populations and historical migrations to genetic structure in the Middle East. As our study represents the first genomic analysis of an early Islamic burial in the Levant, we discuss our findings and possible historic scenarios in light of forces such as genetic drift and their possible interaction with religious and cultural processes.

    Link: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1...09.03.281261v1

    Surprise, surprise. Early Islamic burials turn out to be like modern day Saudis.

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    Thanks, Anfanger.

    I'll try to take a look at the whole paper tonight.


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    The two Islamic samples from Syria are closest to Bedouin B and Saudis (not to the nearby Levantine populations like the Lebanese, Druse, Jordanians, or , for example), and all three carry very high levels of Levant Neolithic. The early Muslims and Bedouin B are over 90% Levant Neolithic. I was surprised to see that the Saudis are 36.1 Iran Neo. I also expected more than .5 Yoruba, given their appearance.

    The two historic Syrian samples derive the majority of their ancestry from Neolithic Levantine populations (Levant_N, 91.3%) as well as minor proportions from Neolithic Iran (Iran_N, 4.1%) and European hunter-gatherers (WHG, 4.6%). Bedouin B are almost entirely derived from Levant_N (98.7%), with a very small percentage from Iran_N. Saudi derived more than half of their ancestry from Levant_N (63.4%), and the rest from Iran_N (36.1%) and Yoruba (0.5%). These results show that all three groups have high contributions from Neolithic Levantine groups but at different proportions, supporting the general observation of similarities between them but also consistent with a lack of a direct match to the Late Antiquity Syrian individuals in our modern reference panel (Supplementary Fig. S3).

    As to Bedouin A and Bedouin B, both sets of samples are from the Negev in Israel.
    “It is suggested that the Negev Bedouins originate from a small founder population and most of their ancestors migrated from the Arabian Peninsula to the Negev and Sinai regions around 700 CE, i.e., shortly after the spread of Islam46. Similar migration events have been recorded, including for the Tell Qarassa region, which was controlled by the city of Bostra, an important settlement in southern Syria during the Roman and Byzantine empires47. This area was occupied by the Ghassanids, a nomadic group from the South Arabian Peninsula that arrived at the end of the fifth century and became Byzantium's principal Arab ally48 during the early sixth century, ruling a large Christian population. This period saw an influx of Islamic Arabs along with other migrants, many of which maintained a nomadic lifestyle49. It is clear that the Late Antiquity in the Levant, were highly dynamic times driven by Arab migrations to the Levant, mirrored by clan-structured groups such as Bedouins. Within this framework, our two Syrian samples could potentially represent part of one of these highly structured nomadic tribes that arrived in the Levant from Arabia under strict cultural, social and religious rules.”

    “The Tell Qarassa graves differ from most other excavated examples of early Islamic burials because they were not located in a cemetery and – from the available evidence- do not seem to have been located near a permanent settlement of the period. From studies of nomadic Bedouin it appears that when someone dies they are buried immediately in a prominent nearby location50 . There are a number of aspects of the Tell Qarassa burials which can be documented in Bedouin burials both from the recent and more distant past (Supplementary Text S1 – Bedouin Burials). Based on this information and also taking into account the genetic results it seems likely that the deceased were Bedouin”

    The small genetic differences observed between these two groups suggest a slightly different trajectory and contacts with other groups since the Neolithic. The clear distinction between syr005 and syr013 from modern Levantine populations combined with the evident genetic similarity to Neolithic Levantine individuals posits an interesting genetic picture that can be explained under two alternative scenarios: 1) a long-term continuity followed by genetic isolation due to strong social, cultural and religious barriers resulting from the Islamisation of the region during the Early Islamic period or 2) the result of a past migration from the Arabian Peninsula. Under the first scenario, syr005 and syr013 would exemplify a group representing long-term local continuity since the Neolithic that would have converted to Islam relatively early after the Arab expansion took place. Hence, the original genetic structure of the region would have been conserved due to strong social, cultural and religious barriers over time preventing mixing with neighbouring populations, resulting in the highly drifted population observed in our data. Long-term genetic continuity has been suggested for various Levantine populations, such as for modern Lebanese which are found to be genetically similar to Bronze Age populations from the region9 , as well as for present-day populations which have been reported to retain ancestry from local populations despite admixture events such as the Crusades in the Middle Ages12 . Under the second scenario, our data is best explained by migration from the Arabian Peninsula to the Levant, a scenario concordant with historical records of a migration from the Arabian Peninsula to the region not long before the time of our two Late Antiquity Syrians (i.e. 7th and 8th centuries) (see above and Supplementary Text S1 – Early Islamic Southern Syria). Moreover, the presence of Neolithic Levantine ancestry in modern-day populations from the Arabian Peninsula seems to support this scenario. If we assume that Neolithic Levantine ancestry was already present in the Arabian Peninsula during historic times or earlier, we would expect to see a reintroduction of Neolithic Ancestry into the Levant where this would have been diluted due to the multi-layered history during the previous millennia. The remarkable affinity to Arabian and Neolithic ancestry would have been maintained overtime as a result of the traditional clan structure of Arab tribes.”

    I would go with Option 2.

    I find it very interesting that although the Bedouin have been considered in the past the “original” Arabs, they are marginalized. Also, when and from whom did the other Saudi tribes get the Iran Neo. Was it with the arrival millennia ago of their J1?
    There are some graphics and charts at the end of the paper, but until I take a look at the Supplement and the math, color me a bit skeptical, especially as some statistical methods weren’t used.. Anatolian Neolithic is half Levantine Neolithic, with the rest divided between Iranian Neolithic and WHG like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The two Islamic samples from Syria are closest to Bedouin B and Saudis (not to the nearby Levantine populations like the Lebanese, Druse, Jordanians, or , for example), and all three carry very high levels of Levant Neolithic. The early Muslims and Bedouin B are over 90% Levant Neolithic. I was surprised to see that the Saudis are 36.1 Iran Neo. I also expected more than .5 Yoruba, given their appearance.

    The two historic Syrian samples derive the majority of their ancestry from Neolithic Levantine populations (Levant_N, 91.3%) as well as minor proportions from Neolithic Iran (Iran_N, 4.1%) and European hunter-gatherers (WHG, 4.6%). Bedouin B are almost entirely derived from Levant_N (98.7%), with a very small percentage from Iran_N. Saudi derived more than half of their ancestry from Levant_N (63.4%), and the rest from Iran_N (36.1%) and Yoruba (0.5%). These results show that all three groups have high contributions from Neolithic Levantine groups but at different proportions, supporting the general observation of similarities between them but also consistent with a lack of a direct match to the Late Antiquity Syrian individuals in our modern reference panel (Supplementary Fig. S3).

    As to Bedouin A and Bedouin B, both sets of samples are from the Negev in Israel.
    “It is suggested that the Negev Bedouins originate from a small founder population and most of their ancestors migrated from the Arabian Peninsula to the Negev and Sinai regions around 700 CE, i.e., shortly after the spread of Islam46. Similar migration events have been recorded, including for the Tell Qarassa region, which was controlled by the city of Bostra, an important settlement in southern Syria during the Roman and Byzantine empires47. This area was occupied by the Ghassanids, a nomadic group from the South Arabian Peninsula that arrived at the end of the fifth century and became Byzantium's principal Arab ally48 during the early sixth century, ruling a large Christian population. This period saw an influx of Islamic Arabs along with other migrants, many of which maintained a nomadic lifestyle49. It is clear that the Late Antiquity in the Levant, were highly dynamic times driven by Arab migrations to the Levant, mirrored by clan-structured groups such as Bedouins. Within this framework, our two Syrian samples could potentially represent part of one of these highly structured nomadic tribes that arrived in the Levant from Arabia under strict cultural, social and religious rules.”

    “The Tell Qarassa graves differ from most other excavated examples of early Islamic burials because they were not located in a cemetery and – from the available evidence- do not seem to have been located near a permanent settlement of the period. From studies of nomadic Bedouin it appears that when someone dies they are buried immediately in a prominent nearby location50 . There are a number of aspects of the Tell Qarassa burials which can be documented in Bedouin burials both from the recent and more distant past (Supplementary Text S1 – Bedouin Burials). Based on this information and also taking into account the genetic results it seems likely that the deceased were Bedouin”

    The small genetic differences observed between these two groups suggest a slightly different trajectory and contacts with other groups since the Neolithic. The clear distinction between syr005 and syr013 from modern Levantine populations combined with the evident genetic similarity to Neolithic Levantine individuals posits an interesting genetic picture that can be explained under two alternative scenarios: 1) a long-term continuity followed by genetic isolation due to strong social, cultural and religious barriers resulting from the Islamisation of the region during the Early Islamic period or 2) the result of a past migration from the Arabian Peninsula. Under the first scenario, syr005 and syr013 would exemplify a group representing long-term local continuity since the Neolithic that would have converted to Islam relatively early after the Arab expansion took place. Hence, the original genetic structure of the region would have been conserved due to strong social, cultural and religious barriers over time preventing mixing with neighbouring populations, resulting in the highly drifted population observed in our data. Long-term genetic continuity has been suggested for various Levantine populations, such as for modern Lebanese which are found to be genetically similar to Bronze Age populations from the region9 , as well as for present-day populations which have been reported to retain ancestry from local populations despite admixture events such as the Crusades in the Middle Ages12 . Under the second scenario, our data is best explained by migration from the Arabian Peninsula to the Levant, a scenario concordant with historical records of a migration from the Arabian Peninsula to the region not long before the time of our two Late Antiquity Syrians (i.e. 7th and 8th centuries) (see above and Supplementary Text S1 – Early Islamic Southern Syria). Moreover, the presence of Neolithic Levantine ancestry in modern-day populations from the Arabian Peninsula seems to support this scenario. If we assume that Neolithic Levantine ancestry was already present in the Arabian Peninsula during historic times or earlier, we would expect to see a reintroduction of Neolithic Ancestry into the Levant where this would have been diluted due to the multi-layered history during the previous millennia. The remarkable affinity to Arabian and Neolithic ancestry would have been maintained overtime as a result of the traditional clan structure of Arab tribes.”

    I would go with Option 2.

    I find it very interesting that although the Bedouin have been considered in the past the “original” Arabs, they are marginalized. Also, when and from whom did the other Saudi tribes get the Iran Neo. Was it with the arrival millennia ago of their J1?
    There are some graphics and charts at the end of the paper, but until I take a look at the Supplement and the math, color me a bit skeptical, especially as some statistical methods weren’t used.. Anatolian Neolithic is half Levantine Neolithic, with the rest divided between Iranian Neolithic and WHG like?
    Thanks for the memo Angela.

    To me for a population that was highly mobile, with reports of as much as 100k Arabs in Northern China in the 800s, I have little doubt that trying to make the distinction between Yemen and the Levant for possible origins will be almost impossible. Likely these people traveled and colonized both, hence origins will be murky.

    It is quite interesting that there seems to be such implied continuity for the population, given the assumptions (if I am not mistaken) that Arabs took over the region later. One way to explain this could be that the shift was mainly cultural while the genetics/people were mainly the same/similar.

    Also, Iran_N pops up all over the place, for people living in such a harsh environment they sure were able to spread their Y all around, be it the deserts of Arabia, the Steppes, or the Mediterranean. I wonder what sort of event contributed to such old branches spreading out and diversifying locally.

    PS: I am very ignorant on Levant/Arab/Semitic history, so someone correct me if I am mistaken on something.
    “Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, and at the same time that indestructible something as well as his trust in it may remain permanently concealed from him.”

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    4 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    ...I find it very interesting that although the Bedouin have been considered in the past the “original” Arabs, they are marginalized. Also, when and from whom did the other Saudi tribes get the Iran Neo. Was it with the arrival millennia ago of their J1?
    There are some graphics and charts at the end of the paper, but until I take a look at the Supplement and the math, color me a bit skeptical, especially as some statistical methods weren’t used.. Anatolian Neolithic is half Levantine Neolithic, with the rest divided between Iranian Neolithic and WHG like?
    Yes, I also think that most of the Iran Neo of the Saudi tribes had come with Y-Haplogroup J1 although it didn't impact the other Bedouins that much.

    Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-07 um 15.12.54.jpg

    Their modeling of Anatolia_N is really kinda weird. Levant_N isn't a good proxy, they should have used Natufians instead because Levant_N is already Anatolian farmer admixed. I´m still waiting for Dzudzuana to be published to properly model Anatolian farmers.

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    Anfänger is there somewhere I can read about modern Iranian and/or Kurdish genetics? Tried searching myself but the studies seem outdated, and the Y-results not very refined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anfänger View Post
    Yes, I also think that most of the Iran Neo of the Saudi tribes had come with Y-Haplogroup J1 although it didn't impact the other Bedouins that much.

    Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-07 um 15.12.54.jpg

    Their modeling of Anatolia_N is really kinda weird. Levant_N isn't a good proxy, they should have used Natufians instead because Levant_N is already Anatolian farmer admixed. I´m still waiting for Dzudzuana to be published to properly model Anatolian farmers.
    Makes it very clear how Bedouin A admixed with locals, including SSA carriers, but Bedouin B did not. As the authors stated, it would be interesting to get a look at the genomes of Bedouin tribes from other countries.

    I agree that using Levant N was a bad idea. It obscures the transition that took place at different eras.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    Anfänger is there somewhere I can read about modern Iranian and/or Kurdish genetics? Tried searching myself but the studies seem updated, and the Y-results not very refined.
    There aren't many studies, most of them are outdated. Anyway, this is the last study done on Iranian Y-DNA:

    "Ancient Migratory Events in the Middle East: New Clues from the Y-Chromosome Variation of Modern Iranians"

    See here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399854/

    I hope this helps you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    Thanks for the memo Angela.

    To me for a population that was highly mobile, with reports of as much as 100k Arabs in Northern China in the 800s, I have little doubt that trying to make the distinction between Yemen and the Levant for possible origins will be almost impossible. Likely these people traveled and colonized both, hence origins will be murky.

    It is quite interesting that there seems to be such implied continuity for the population, given the assumptions (if I am not mistaken) that Arabs took over the region later. One way to explain this could be that the shift was mainly cultural while the genetics/people were mainly the same/similar.

    Also, Iran_N pops up all over the place, for people living in such a harsh environment they sure were able to spread their Y all around, be it the deserts of Arabia, the Steppes, or the Mediterranean. I wonder what sort of event contributed to such old branches spreading out and diversifying locally.

    PS: I am very ignorant on Levant/Arab/Semitic history, so someone correct me if I am mistaken on something.
    It's difficult to tell precisely what went on because of their use of Levant Neo as a component instead of something like Natufian, but also, we really need an Anatolian and Levant Iron Age samples to understand the effect of the Muslim invasions.

    Did the conquest, change of language and even religion for all except the minority hold outs change the genetic structure of the non-elites or didn't it?

    I've been looking at the admixture chart which Anfanger posted, and it's very interesting. Take a look at Levant Bronze Age, and then the following modern Levant Muslim, Levant Christian, and general Lebanon. There's a big change, but it's not an increase of Levant Neo, but a DECREASE of Levant Neo. The WHG gets wiped out, and the Muslims pick up a bit of SSA, probably from the Arab slave trade as one possible source, but it's the Iran Neo which increases.

    The Saudis were only 30-40% Iran Neo so I don't quite see how admixture with Saudi like people could have caused it.

    So, the question for me then becomes, what happened in the Levant and perhaps Anatolia from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age?

    Also notice how the European admixture from the Crusader Era disappeared, or never really made it far from the environs of the Crusader castles, which I think is just as likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's difficult to tell precisely what went on because of their use of Levant Neo as a component instead of something like Natufian, but also, we really need an Anatolian and Levant Iron Age samples to understand the effect of the Muslim invasions.

    Did the conquest, change of language and even religion for all except the minority hold outs change the genetic structure of the non-elites or didn't it?

    I've been looking at the admixture chart which Anfanger posted, and it's very interesting. Take a look at Levant Bronze Age, and then the following modern Levant Muslim, Levant Christian, and general Lebanon. There's a big change, but it's not an increase of Levant Neo, but a DECREASE of Levant Neo. The WHG gets wiped out, and the Muslims pick up a bit of SSA, probably from the Arab slave trade as one possible source, but it's the Iran Neo which increases.

    The Saudis were only 30-40% Iran Neo so I don't quite see how admixture with Saudi like people could have caused it.

    So, the question for me then becomes, what happened in the Levant and perhaps Anatolia from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age?

    Also notice how the European admixture from the Crusader Era disappeared, or never really made it far from the environs of the Crusader castles, which I think is just as likely.
    To me it seems just a really bad study, at least some parts and results: as far as I recall, though I might be wrong, Levantines are mostly similar to their BA ancestors, and it has been confirmed in multiple studies (if needed I can provide them but I am sure you readers will remember them, and it would be a bit cumbersome to look them up now). What is worse is that even the suspect population that caused the supposed turnover can't be the cause for the reasons above said.

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    @Anfänger, Hi do you know how much Iran Neo modern Iranians score and whether they score South Asian?

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    Quote Originally Posted by real expert View Post
    @Anfänger, Hi do you know how much Iran Neo modern Iranians score and whether they score South Asian?
    According to the admixture chart I posted above 100%, which is weird and unlikely. They don't use Anatolian_N to determine ancestry. This might distort the results.

    When I use amateur calculators, i usually get 40-50% Iran_N as an average for Iranians. Outliers are the Baluchis from Southeastern Iran, who score about 60%. South Asian ancestry is basically absent in western Iranians but there is about 5-10% in eastern Iranians, again in Baluchis mainly which makes sense because they live on the border region to South Asia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anfänger View Post
    According to the admixture chart I posted above 100%, which is weird and unlikely. They don't use Anatolian_N to determine ancestry. This might distort the results.

    When I use amateur calculators, i usually get 40-50% Iran_N as an average for Iranians. Outliers are the Baluchis from Southeastern Iran, who score about 60%. South Asian ancestry is basically absent in western Iranians but there is about 5-10% in eastern Iranians, again in Baluchis mainly which makes sense because they live on the border region to South Asia.

    Thanks for your reply. It seems that some people were exaggerating, overstating the South Asian impact on Iranians. Anyway, it's intriguing that the Semitic Saudis and the Indo-European Iranians have greater genetic ties with each than people believe.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Yemenite Mahra folks rather score little Iran Neo and ANF? It's believed that they're the closest population to the Natufian.

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    Actually, Saudis and Iranians are not that close to each other. The distance is pretty high and on PCAs they don’t plot together at all. I think the average person thinks that both are the same which is not true.

    Yes, Yemenite Mahra have very little Iran_N. Them and Saudis are pretty close to Natufians, based on amateur calculators though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anfänger View Post
    Actually, Saudis and Iranians are not that close to each other. The distance is pretty high and on PCAs they don’t plot together at all. I think the average person thinks that both are the same which is not true.
    Yes, Yemenite Mahra have very little Iran_N. Them and Saudis are pretty close to Natufians, based on amateur calculators though.

    I expressed myself somewhat misleadingly. The genetic ties I was thinking of was the Iran Neo DNA/ancestry that Saudis and Iranians both share. I'm well aware of the fact that Iranians and Saudis are culturally and ethnically not that close. Plus, I have encountered several Persians/Iranians who emphatically told me that Iranians very much dislike that many folks lump Arabs and Iranians into one group as if they were one people. And of course, I respect that. By the way, it's a pity that Iran and Arabia are both very undersampled regions in terms of ancient DNA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopoldo Leone View Post
    To me it seems just a really bad study, at least some parts and results: as far as I recall, though I might be wrong, Levantines are mostly similar to their BA ancestors, and it has been confirmed in multiple studies (if needed I can provide them but I am sure you readers will remember them, and it would be a bit cumbersome to look them up now). What is worse is that even the suspect population that caused the supposed turnover can't be the cause for the reasons above said.
    Some studies are rather confusing because of their choice of a poorer fitting source population for their admixture model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The two Islamic samples from Syria are closest to Bedouin B and Saudis (not to the nearby Levantine populations like the Lebanese, Druse, Jordanians, or , for example), and all three carry very high levels of Levant Neolithic. The early Muslims and Bedouin B are over 90% Levant Neolithic. I was surprised to see that the Saudis are 36.1 Iran Neo. I also expected more than .5 Yoruba, given their appearance.

    The two historic Syrian samples derive the majority of their ancestry from Neolithic Levantine populations (Levant_N, 91.3%) as well as minor proportions from Neolithic Iran (Iran_N, 4.1%) and European hunter-gatherers (WHG, 4.6%). Bedouin B are almost entirely derived from Levant_N (98.7%), with a very small percentage from Iran_N. Saudi derived more than half of their ancestry from Levant_N (63.4%), and the rest from Iran_N (36.1%) and Yoruba (0.5%). These results show that all three groups have high contributions from Neolithic Levantine groups but at different proportions, supporting the general observation of similarities between them but also consistent with a lack of a direct match to the Late Antiquity Syrian individuals in our modern reference panel (Supplementary Fig. S3).

    As to Bedouin A and Bedouin B, both sets of samples are from the Negev in Israel.
    “It is suggested that the Negev Bedouins originate from a small founder population and most of their ancestors migrated from the Arabian Peninsula to the Negev and Sinai regions around 700 CE, i.e., shortly after the spread of Islam46. Similar migration events have been recorded, including for the Tell Qarassa region, which was controlled by the city of Bostra, an important settlement in southern Syria during the Roman and Byzantine empires47. This area was occupied by the Ghassanids, a nomadic group from the South Arabian Peninsula that arrived at the end of the fifth century and became Byzantium's principal Arab ally48 during the early sixth century, ruling a large Christian population. This period saw an influx of Islamic Arabs along with other migrants, many of which maintained a nomadic lifestyle49. It is clear that the Late Antiquity in the Levant, were highly dynamic times driven by Arab migrations to the Levant, mirrored by clan-structured groups such as Bedouins. Within this framework, our two Syrian samples could potentially represent part of one of these highly structured nomadic tribes that arrived in the Levant from Arabia under strict cultural, social and religious rules.”

    “The Tell Qarassa graves differ from most other excavated examples of early Islamic burials because they were not located in a cemetery and – from the available evidence- do not seem to have been located near a permanent settlement of the period. From studies of nomadic Bedouin it appears that when someone dies they are buried immediately in a prominent nearby location50 . There are a number of aspects of the Tell Qarassa burials which can be documented in Bedouin burials both from the recent and more distant past (Supplementary Text S1 – Bedouin Burials). Based on this information and also taking into account the genetic results it seems likely that the deceased were Bedouin”

    The small genetic differences observed between these two groups suggest a slightly different trajectory and contacts with other groups since the Neolithic. The clear distinction between syr005 and syr013 from modern Levantine populations combined with the evident genetic similarity to Neolithic Levantine individuals posits an interesting genetic picture that can be explained under two alternative scenarios: 1) a long-term continuity followed by genetic isolation due to strong social, cultural and religious barriers resulting from the Islamisation of the region during the Early Islamic period or 2) the result of a past migration from the Arabian Peninsula. Under the first scenario, syr005 and syr013 would exemplify a group representing long-term local continuity since the Neolithic that would have converted to Islam relatively early after the Arab expansion took place. Hence, the original genetic structure of the region would have been conserved due to strong social, cultural and religious barriers over time preventing mixing with neighbouring populations, resulting in the highly drifted population observed in our data. Long-term genetic continuity has been suggested for various Levantine populations, such as for modern Lebanese which are found to be genetically similar to Bronze Age populations from the region9 , as well as for present-day populations which have been reported to retain ancestry from local populations despite admixture events such as the Crusades in the Middle Ages12 . Under the second scenario, our data is best explained by migration from the Arabian Peninsula to the Levant, a scenario concordant with historical records of a migration from the Arabian Peninsula to the region not long before the time of our two Late Antiquity Syrians (i.e. 7th and 8th centuries) (see above and Supplementary Text S1 – Early Islamic Southern Syria). Moreover, the presence of Neolithic Levantine ancestry in modern-day populations from the Arabian Peninsula seems to support this scenario. If we assume that Neolithic Levantine ancestry was already present in the Arabian Peninsula during historic times or earlier, we would expect to see a reintroduction of Neolithic Ancestry into the Levant where this would have been diluted due to the multi-layered history during the previous millennia. The remarkable affinity to Arabian and Neolithic ancestry would have been maintained overtime as a result of the traditional clan structure of Arab tribes.”

    I would go with Option 2.

    I find it very interesting that although the Bedouin have been considered in the past the “original” Arabs, they are marginalized. Also, when and from whom did the other Saudi tribes get the Iran Neo. Was it with the arrival millennia ago of their J1?
    There are some graphics and charts at the end of the paper, but until I take a look at the Supplement and the math, color me a bit skeptical, especially as some statistical methods weren’t used.. Anatolian Neolithic is half Levantine Neolithic, with the rest divided between Iranian Neolithic and WHG like?
    Charcolithic expansion from the Zagros introduced J1-P58 to peninsula Arabs via Southern Levant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The two Islamic samples from Syria are closest to Bedouin B and Saudis (not to the nearby Levantine populations like the Lebanese, Druse, Jordanians, or , for example), and all three carry very high levels of Levant Neolithic. The early Muslims and Bedouin B are over 90% Levant Neolithic. I was surprised to see that the Saudis are 36.1 Iran Neo. I also expected more than .5 Yoruba, given their appearance.

    According to amateur geneticists on AG who appear to know what they're talking about, the Natufian component/ancestry in general and in BA Jordanians absorb SSA-like admixture.

    The Natufian component as well as the Natufian present in JOR_EBA are definitely absorbing some African affinity.

    SSA isn't really a coherent group it is essentially a collection of lineages that are not necessarily more related to each other than to ancestors of Eurasians but did not experience the Eurasian bottleneck.

    ANA is however clearly much closer to bulk of the stuff in Mota, Dinka and Yoruba than to any existing Eurasian population which makes it effectively SSA-like or makes those African populations mostly ANA-like.

    Last edited by Mnemonics; 12-24-2021 at 12:06 AM.



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