Biomolecular insights into North African-related ancestry in 11th Century Al-Andalus.

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Biomolecularinsights into North African-related ancestry, mobility and diet ineleventh-century Al-Andalus


Abstract
Historical records document medieval immigration from North Africa to Iberia to create Islamic al-Andalus. Here, we present a low-coverage genome of an eleventh century CE man buried in an Islamic necropolis in Segorbe, near Valencia, Spain. Uniparental lineages indicate North African ancestry, but at the autosomal level he displays a mosaic of North African and European-like ancestries, distinct from any present-day population. Altogether, the genome-wide evidence, stable isotope results and the age of the burial indicate that his ancestry was ultimately a result of admixture between recently arrived Amazigh people (Berbers) and the population inhabiting the Peninsula prior to the Islamic conquest. We detect differences between our sample and a previously published group of contemporary individuals from Valencia,exemplifying how detailed, small-scale aDNA studies can illuminate fine-grained regional and temporal differences. His genome demonstrates how ancient DNA studies can capture portraits of past genetic variation that have been erased by later demographic shifts—in this case, most likely the seventeenth century CE expulsion of formerly Islamic communities as tolerance dissipated following the Reconquista by the Catholic kingdoms of the north.



Although Arabs were the urban and political elite during the Umayyad Caliphate, ruling from 711 CE until the end of the Caliphate of Cordoba in 1031 CE, they are thought to have been a minority amongst the new settlers. Berbers formed the bulk of the army who first seized Visigothic Spain in the eighth century CE21. Berbers had converted to Islam as a result of the Arab conquest of North Africa in the preceding century and embarked in a slow and complex process of Arabisation that lasted centuries. However, they were far from culturally homogeneous; a deep division existed between nomadic and sedentary Berber groups, and it was the latter who first settled in the rural areas of Spain18. Although Berber numbers in Iberia were likely larger than those oft the Arabs, they initially wielded no significant political power, but this changed during the eleventh–thirteenth centuries CE with the establishment of the Almoravid and Almohad Berber empires18.



Discussion

We analysed individual UE2298/MS060 excavated from the Islamic necropolis of Plaza del Almudín, in Segorbe, dating to the eleventh century CE. The archaeologists responsible for the excavation in 1999 considered this individual unusual due to his considerable height compared with other individuals found at the same site (despite periods of disease and/or malnutrition in childhood)27,and dubbed him the “Segorbe Giant”. The subsequent anthropological analysis suggested some African morphological features and a link was postulated to the Berber-speaking populations that settled in the region in medieval times 26,27. Analysis of the uniparental markers from UE2298/MS060 fits well with this assumption, pointing to an origin in the Maghreb, most likely from a Berber group. MtDNA lineage U6a is not only connected to modern Amazigh populations 30,but has also been found in Moroccan remains associated with Iberomaurusian culture, and in the Moroccan Early Neolithic site ofIfri n’Amr or Moussa2,32 (Fig. 1b). He also carries the Y-chromosome E1b1b1b1 (E–M310) lineage. E1b1bis extremely common amongst extant North Africans and has been found in ancient North African and Levantine remains2,32,33,37 (SupplementaryFig. S7). Due to low coverage, we could only assign him to a basal position within E1b1b1b1, but it is possible that he may belong to a more derived subclade. One possibility would be E1b1b1b1a (E–M81), which is the most common haplogroup amongst modern Berber males today 42,53,and has been linked to Islamic remains in southern France38. Another would be its descendant E1b1b1b1a1-M183 lineage, identified in three Guanche males, in two Islamic individuals from Granada, and in an earlier sixth century CE male from the Visigoth phase of Pla del'Horta, in Catalonia 6,33.

Although he carries both uniparental markers of North African origin, autosomal evidence paints a more complex picture. The individual is positioned in the PCA mid-way between modern/ancient Iberian populations, and Late Neolithic Moroccan, Guanches and modern North African individuals (Fig. 3a),and formal tests of admixture point to high proportions of Iberian-like ancestry (Fig. 4;Supplementary Table S7).
Considering the archaeological and historical records for this period in the region of Valencia, we envisage three possible scenarios to explain the observed ancestry in UE2298/MS060. One would be to assume that this individual is a direct migrant from North Africa (whose unique genetic composition has not yet been examined using aDNA), or derives from a population that moved into Iberia but retained its genetic identity. A second scenario is that he descends from pre-Islamic Iberian genetic diversity. Finally, the third scenario is that he ist he result of admixture between Iberian and North African sources.


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-95996-3
 
Well, at first glance the discussion is more nuanced than the abstract.

Autosomally, if I remember correctly, he's less "Berber" like than the samples found in the Islamic cemetery in France.
 
He was tall i jelous :grin:

He was dubbed as “the Giant” by the archaeologists responsible for the excavation (here referred to as the “Segorbe Giant”), due to his unusual height (184–190 cm) compared with the other individuals found in the site (Barrachina 2004) (Supplementary Method
 
I predict the sample will surely exist on this orange line. This is the side view of a 3D PCA of West Eurasian populations; see the Z-axis.:

SOoF6EH.png
 
Well, at first glance the discussion is more nuanced than the abstract.
Autosomally, if I remember correctly, he's less "Berber" like than the samples found in the Islamic cemetery in France.
Unfortuntely 🤔
We don't have there autosomal file
Since the researcher never releasd them
We only know there uniparental markers
Y haplogroup and mtdna ...
It is possible they were also southwest european admixed autosomally:unsure:

P.s
Although chances are low since they are much earlier in time than this dude so they had less chance to mix with natives around them
 
It is too bad it is not in BAM format, maybe Salento could help with converting the FASTQ file.

Populations from North Africa, when compared of other west Eurasians, are best viewed in a 3D PCA.

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/browser/view/PRJEB47085?show=reads

Hi Jovialis, … sent u a pm with Data.

… low coverage and ENA says that MS060 admixture types is extinct.

… MS060 was a Genius, … high IQ, though we’re all Smart here :)

FAIgBvZ.jpg


Code:
MS060_Dod_K12b,14.19,3.22,12.10,6.53,42.24,0.00,0.00,3.29,18.44,0.00,0.00,0.00
 
Hi Jovialis, … sent u a pm with Data.

… low coverage and ENA says that MS060 admixture types is extinct.

… MS060 was a Genius, … high IQ, though we’re all Smart here :)

FAIgBvZ.jpg


Code:
MS060_Dod_K12b,14.19,3.22,12.10,6.53,42.24,0.00,0.00,3.29,18.44,0.00,0.00,0.00

(y)
Hi Salento. This giant was indeed unique.

Distance to:MS060_Dod_K12b
32.40672461Spanish_Canarias
32.49677369Spanish_Asturias
33.02812438Duarte
33.80348799Spanish_Andalusia
34.27320965Portuguese
34.29727540Sardinian
34.64341207Spanish_Castilla-Leon
34.80077298Spanish_Galicia
34.92755216Moroccan
35.15567380Spanish_Valencia
35.54483225Spanish_Aragon
36.41521523Spanish_La_Rioja
36.51573086French_Corsica
36.78470742Spanish_Catalonia
36.97950378Spanish_Cantabria
37.04114334Spanish_Baleares
37.20951088Algerian
37.66392571French_Southwest
38.24548862Spanish_Basque
38.25534342Italian_Liguria
38.64841006Italian_Emilia
38.69286239Italian_Tuscany
39.08841005Italian_Piedmont
39.28545914Morocco_Jews
39.48167803Italian_Romagna






Target: MS060_Dod_K12b
Distance: 22.8079% / 22.80785884 | R2P
53.7Moroccan
46.3Spanish_Basque


Target: MS060_Dod_K12b
Distance: 20.4406% / 20.44055150
39.0Spanish_Basque
31.9Moroccan
9.0Kuwait2
7.2Sardinian
7.0Meena
4.9Dai
1.0Yukagir

 
Nice Duarte, … MS060 is a bit closer to Ancient samples,

… portraits of past genetic variation that have been erased by later demographic shifts …


Distance to:MS060_Dod_K12b
23.61283761I12645_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
24.79208946I7423_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
25.08076953RomanVillaGranadaSpain_I4055
26.02724726I3583_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
26.74427789I7805_Sicily_EBA_Contrada_Paolina_Castellucciana
26.93600007I3578_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
27.23854438I7500_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
27.53878356I8147_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
28.43170589I3879_Malak_Preslavets
28.46250692HispanoRomanMaghrebiCordobaCaliphate_I7497
28.53120397I3575_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
28.56757778I7674_NE_Iberia_c.6-8CE_ES
28.76668385I3980_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
28.83534463MedievalTaifaofValencia_I12649
28.87918455I2426_Balkans_Chalcolithic
29.00413074LateRomanIberiaGranada_I3576
29.14109984EarlyMedievalIberiaGranada_I3981
29.20464689I15939_Sardinia_BA_contam_Anghelu_Ruju
29.50904268I9128_Bronze_Age_Minoan_Moni_Odigitria_Heraklion_Crete
29.67159922I3574_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
29.67297087I7800_Sicily_EBA_Contrada_Paolina_Castellucciana
29.70212282I3582_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
29.72514928I3982_SE_Iberia_c.3-4CE
29.98840609CarthagoMaghrebiAndalusia_I7457
29.99961833LateRomanIberiaGranada_I3581
 
Nice Duarte, … MS060 is a bit closer to Ancient samples,

… portraits of past genetic variation that have been erased by later demographic shifts …


Distance to:MS060_Dod_K12b
23.61283761I12645_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
24.79208946I7423_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
25.08076953RomanVillaGranadaSpain_I4055
26.02724726I3583_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
26.74427789I7805_Sicily_EBA_Contrada_Paolina_Castellucciana
26.93600007I3578_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
27.23854438I7500_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
27.53878356I8147_SE_Iberia_c.10-16CE
28.43170589I3879_Malak_Preslavets
28.46250692HispanoRomanMaghrebiCordobaCaliphate_I7497
28.53120397I3575_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
28.56757778I7674_NE_Iberia_c.6-8CE_ES
28.76668385I3980_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
28.83534463MedievalTaifaofValencia_I12649
28.87918455I2426_Balkans_Chalcolithic
29.00413074LateRomanIberiaGranada_I3576
29.14109984EarlyMedievalIberiaGranada_I3981
29.20464689I15939_Sardinia_BA_contam_Anghelu_Ruju
29.50904268I9128_Bronze_Age_Minoan_Moni_Odigitria_Heraklion_Crete
29.67159922I3574_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
29.67297087I7800_Sicily_EBA_Contrada_Paolina_Castellucciana
29.70212282I3582_SE_Iberia_c.5-8CE
29.72514928I3982_SE_Iberia_c.3-4CE
29.98840609CarthagoMaghrebiAndalusia_I7457
29.99961833LateRomanIberiaGranada_I3581

(y)a
Despite the distances, the Iberian bias of this individual is evident.
 

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