Complete mtDna from Romano Christian burial in Egypt


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The major take away is that the similarity of ancient Egyptians to people from the Levant perhaps extended all the way to far southern desert like Egypt, although I wish there was an autosomal analysis.

See: J. Eldon Molto et al
Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequencing of a Burial from a Romano–Christian Cemetery in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt: Preliminary Indications

"Abstract: The curse of ancient Egyptian DNA was lifted by a recent study which sequenced the mitochondrial genomes (mtGenome) of 90 ancient Egyptians from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq. Surprisingly, these ancient inhabitants were more closely related to those from the Near East than to contemporary Egyptians. It has been accepted that the timeless highway of the Nile River seeded Egypt with African genetic influence, well before pre-Dynastic times. Here we report on the successful recovery and analysis of the complete mtGenome from a burial recovered from a remote Romano–Christian cemetery, Kellis 2 (K2). K2 serviced the ancient municipality of Kellis, a village located in the Dakhleh Oasis in the southwest desert in Egypt. The data were obtained by high throughput sequencing (HTS) performed independently at two ancient DNA facilities (Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, Dover, DE, USA and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA). These efforts produced concordant haplotypes representing a U1a1a haplogroup lineage. This result indicates that Near Eastern maternal influence previously identified at Abusir el-Meleq was also present further south, in ancient Kellis during the Romano–Christian period."

"AMS radiocarbon dating from 21 K2 burials indicates a calibrated range of 80–445 years AD [5]"

"A key molecular paleopathology result is the identification of co-infections with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae in several male skeletons [8]. In general, both metric and non-metric trait analyses of a large sample of burials indicate a resident population slowly changing over time [1,9], but in contrast, the preliminary mtDNA analyses suggest maternal diversity as all 13 individuals examined to date had different mtDNA hyper variable region I profiles [6,7]. At the height of its occupation, Kellis likely had 2000–3000 inhabitants [10]."

"Over time Kellis was a diverse municipality with a combination of pagan, popular magic, and Manichean and Christian beliefs; however, when abandoned near the mid-4th century AD, it was Christian [11]. Kellis was also a sophisticated community attested by the recovery of multiple texts written in Manichaean, Greek, and Coptic [11,12]."

Ancestors of the Copts, perhaps?
Also from the paper:
"In the context of ancient Kellis, U1a1a suggests close association within the history of the ancient Near East. The Iranian and Iraqi Jewish populations are the oldest non-Askenazi Jewish communities outside the Levant, dating to approximately 600 BC. During this time, groups were driven out or fled as refugees of their established homelands in the Levant by either the Assyrian capture of Israel (722 BC) or the Babylonian conquests of Judah (597 and 587 BC). U1a1a is cited as one of six haplogroups possibly dating from these events, attesting to the presence of this lineage in the ancient Near East as early as these military-driven political events [29]. Although resident in a modern Iranian non-Askenazi Jewish group [29], haplogroup U1a1a existed at varying frequencies in many populations in the ancient Near East. U1a1a is also present in contemporary populations from Lebanon [27], Turkey [30], Pakistan, Palestine [31], Armenia (KX398117 & KX821325), and Iran [32], suggesting that this maternal signature was likely found in groups within this general area in antiquity. Haplogroup U1a1a has also been identified in older samples discovered at the South Caucus site of Artsakh (1700–1800 AD [33])."

" Fleeing from areas of high Roman concentration to isolated areas such as Kellis to avoid religious persecution may have been a common practice. Additionally, Kellis was a significant center of commerce, trade, and travel despite its remote location [5], and was located along the caravan routes which serviced the western desert oases. Nitrogen isotope analyses of two K2 burials containing leprous individuals indicate that both individuals could have been recent arrivals to the oasis [5,35,36,37,38]. Lower nitrogen and higher oxygen isotope values indicate that other individuals interred in K2 lived elsewhere before returning to the oasis, or could have been new arrivals. If the latter is true, some may have arrived in the caravan trades that frequently moved through Kellis [39]."

I'm not sure about this last one. It could have been present much earlier.
The U5 found in a much older mummy head points to both U mtDNA and other more northern lineages having a presence in North Africa since the Old Kingdom at the latest.

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