A genetic history of the Balkans from Roman frontier to Slavic migrations

Riverman

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Paper out:

A genetic history of the Balkans from Roman frontier to Slavic migrations

Highlights
• A frontier region of ancient Rome was as cosmopolitan as the imperial center
• Genetic proof that migrants identified as Goths were ethnically diverse confederations
• Slavic-speaking migrants account for 30%–60% of the ancestry of Balkan peoples today
• A model for integrating archaeology with genetics

Summary
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire was a socio-political process with enormous ramifications for human history. The Middle Danube was a crucial frontier and a crossroads for population and cultural movement. Here, we present genome-wide data from 136 Balkan individuals dated to the 1st millennium CE. Despite extensive militarization and cultural influence, we find little ancestry contribution from peoples of Italic descent. However, we trace a large-scale influx of people of Anatolian ancestry during the Imperial period. Between ∼250 and 550 CE, we detect migrants with ancestry from Central/Northern Europe and the Steppe, confirming that “barbarian” migrations were propelled by ethnically diverse confederations. Following the end of Roman control, we detect the large-scale arrival of individuals who were genetically similar to modern Eastern European Slavic-speaking populations, who contributed 30%–60% of the ancestry of Balkan people, representing one of the largest permanent demographic changes anywhere in Europe during the Migration Period.

Link: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(23)01135-2
 
The paper lists 17 E-L618/E-V13 samples, many of which were discussed before already, but now they are published. From the paper:

Around half of the 45 individuals between ∼1 and 250 CE can be fitted with qpAdm models featuring only Balkan Iron Age groups (Figure 2A) and are characterized by a high frequency (5 out of 10) of Y chromosome lineage E-V13 (Data S1, section 2), which has been hypothesized to have experienced a Bronze-to-Iron Age expansion in the Balkans.
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These individuals, sampled from Roman towns such as Viminacium, Tragurium (Trogir), and Mursa (Osijek), are consistent with being direct descendants of local Balkan Iron Age populations (Figure 2A), pointing to a high degree of integration of the local population into Roman society.

The Roman Empire did, however, stimulate demographic change in the Balkans. In this early period, ∼1/3 of the individuals (15 of the 45) fall beyond the Balkan clines in PCA (Figures 1C and S4) but close to Near Easterners and can be modeled as deriving their ancestry predominantly from Roman/Byzantine populations from western Anatolia and, in one case, from Northern Levantine groups (Figure 2A; Data S2, Table 6). Most of these individuals were excavated at four different Viminacium necropolises, but we also found them at other urban centers such as Tragurium (Trogir) and Iader (Zadar). A very strong demographic shift toward Anatolia is also evident in Rome and central Italy during the same period
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and demonstrates long-distance mobility plausibly originating from the major eastern urban centers of the Empire such as Ephesus, Corinth, or Byzantium/Constantinople, and our results show that these migrants had a major demographic impact not only on the Imperial capital but also on other large towns on the Empire’s northern periphery.

Without cremation and urban centered sampling, the E-V13 dominance along the Danube would have been surely even way higher:

Like any historical evidence, this new genetic dataset has limitations. The main one concerns the inherent fragmentary nature of the archaeological record, impacting our study in three ways. First, the prevalence of cremation burial in the 1st and 2nd centuries limits the size of the sample in the earliest phase and may bias the results toward a local population more likely to be inhumed. Second, the paucity of sixth-century samples may obscure the presence of populations from Northern/Central Europe who arrived in this later period and the earliest phases of the Slavic migrations. Third, urban populations are overrepresented in our study with respect to rural areas, which could be differentially impacted by the demographic processes described in our work. Additional genetic analyses across other Roman frontiers during and after the height of the Empire will help understand how this ancient phase of globalization shaped the current demographic landscape of three continental regions.
 
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Seems like this was the mystery paper, I'm surprised no new samples were added while it remained frozen in review. 31% Slavic for Albanians is exaggerated, 25% is what I get in G25.
 
Several samples from Viminacium and Dalmatia seem like Greeks (or maybe C6-like individuals from Southern Italy? The PCA is not so clear) and don't quite fall in a hypothetic cline between West Anatolia and Iron age Balkans. Of course, the PCA can be misleading.
 

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Some seem to be more South Thracian and even Aegean-Anatolian-Levantine admixed. Keep in mind what the comment above said about the limitations: Mainly inhumation burials and more from the urban centres.
We will see how the most Balkan IA/lowest recent admixed individuals will score.
 
They did not make a separate PCA for Balkan IA samples, the PCA they used was too inclusive and it's a like a everything pizza. I want to see more focus on the native profiles, they too formed their own groups.
I don't think the bam files are out yet, right?
 
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Some seem to be more South Thracian and even Aegean-Anatolian-Levantine admixed. Keep in mind what the comment above said about the limitations: Mainly inhumation burials and more from the urban centres.
We will see how the most Balkan IA/lowest recent admixed individuals will score.
Yes, I didn't think about Thracian, but they could have been a well established presence. And I agree about a possible rural vs urban bias
 
Greeks are modern day medieval Byzantines.

(y)
 
Ummm according to that study mainland Greeks have 30 to 40 Slavic dna

Peloponnese is 'mainland' also.

In addition, Byzantines had such Hellenized/Christianised Balkan/Slav lineages as well. They were vibrant and loyal communities to the throne in Constantinople throughout the middle and late Medieval.

Basill II the Bulgar-Slayer was half Bulgarian, from his mother side, let's not forget.
 
Peloponnese is 'mainland' also.

In addition, Byzantines had such Hellenized/Christianised Balkan/Slav lineages as well. They were vibrant and loyal communities to the throne in Constantinople throughout the middle and late Medieval.

Basill II the Bulgar-Slayer was half Bulgarian, from his mother side, let's not forget.
On that study peloponnese have 30 percent slavic
 
I think that papers like this shows the problem with reading literally qpAdm admixtures without checking the results against other tests: the results exposed in table 8 in the supplementaries are inconsistent with the Balkans being a cline, since it is rather discrete with some populations having zero ancestry of what another geographically adjacent population scores significantly, and models for Greeks suggest that qpAdm "cranks up" both northern ancestry and southern ancestry to the detriment of intermediate populations.
 
On that study peloponnese have 30 percent slavic

Refer to my previous post about Byzantines having such people within their ethnos.
 
V13 is clearly associated with generalized Iron Age Balkans, as J2b-L283, and R1b-Z2103 with exception of two of them being Middle Eastern ( likely Armenian, Assyrian related South Caucasus/North Middle Eastern).
 
The SNP values changed from the pre-print to what they are reporting now. They must have re-sequenced the samples.

V13 is clearly associated with generalized Iron Age Balkans, as J2b-L283, and R1b-Z2103 with exception of two of them being Middle Eastern ( likely Armenian, Assyrian related South Caucasus/North Middle Eastern).

One of the non-local profile R-Z2103 is R-CTS1450, has to be a mixed local.
 
What are the non-slavic paternal lines in Modern Greece though ?
 
Several samples from Viminacium and Dalmatia seem like Greeks (or maybe C6-like individuals from Southern Italy? The PCA is not so clear) and don't quite fall in a hypothetic cline between West Anatolia and Iron age Balkans. Of course, the PCA can be misleading.

It is possible, Greeks from this period would have been far more southern shifted prior to Slavic and Albanian migration and don't forget that Anatolia was inhabited by Greek like people until the Turkic invasions. South Italians is another possibility
 
Peloponnese is 'mainland' also.

In addition, Byzantines had such Hellenized/Christianised Balkan/Slav lineages as well. They were vibrant and loyal communities to the throne in Constantinople throughout the middle and late Medieval.

Basill II the Bulgar-Slayer was half Bulgarian, from his mother side, let's not forget.


Unrelated to the thread but Basil II was Laconian from his mother's side. Do you mean someone else ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophano_(born_Anastaso)
 

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