First Genomes from Ancient Egypt

Our analysis furthermore shows that derived alleles for the genes SLC24A5, known to be responsible for partially lighter skin pigmentation were present in both JK2888 and JK2911 (see Supplementary Note 6 for details). For further genes such as SLC45A2, LCT and EDAR we were unable to find derived alleles for both JK2888 and JK2911. For JK2134, there was no sufficient coverage after quality filtering at all the specific sites, which is why the analysis revealed no further clues.

Supplementary Data 3 shows that mtDNA haplogroups for the three ancient Egyptian samples JK2134 JK2888 and JK2911 are J1d, U6a2 and M1a1, respectively. J1d and its subclades are considered Near Eastern and U6a2 is close to the East African cluster U6a2a. M1a1 was also found in Ethiopia and the majority of the M1a lineages found in Africa had a more recent Eastern African origin. These ancient Egyptian mummies had partially light skin pigmentation without further light skin pigmentation genes and they probably resembled modern-day East Africans. Ethiopians are known to plot closer to Near Easterners in PCA, suggesting a much larger Eurasian genetic component in East Africa.

ethiopian-women1.jpg
 
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From the graphic posted I don't see that at all, unless you're coining your own definitions for population groups. Northeast Africans are Horners.

The only "Africans" the ancient Egyptians from this period plot close to are North Africans, who are mostly Levantines with SSA, more than half of it coming in the last 2000 years, presumably through the Arab slave trade, plus whatever traces of the prior population(s) are left. None of that is a surprise.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the papers knows that two major population flows moved out of the Near East, the western farmers, and then a few thousand years later a population related to the Iranian farmers. Both spread over vast distances and mixed with earlier populations where ever they went. The first group spread all along the southern coast of the Mediterranean, among many other places, and even deep into Africa. We can see the traces of the second major Near East group in northern Africa too, but in much smaller percentages.

Basically, as LeBrok pointed out, the Bronze Age may be the last really major population upheaval in western Eurasia. As I stated in another thread, the second gene flow out of the Near East, which was less consequential for most of Europe was like a pincer movement into Europe, I believe, with part of it going over the Caucasus and onto the steppe, and part of it going into southeastern and southern Europe, as well as all over the Near East, and some of it even reaching North Africa.

It looks like a modified version of the old Dienekes theory of the Womb of Nations to me, but as you have to consider also the western farmers, it's not just the Caucasus area, but the Anatolia/Levant region as well.
Sorry for mis-wording things, by northeast Africans I was referring to modern Egyptians, Tunisians, and Algerians. These groups are the closest to the ancient Egyptian samples studied in this study.
 
Those samples have an extra Iran_Neolithic, maybe they are mixed with Hyksos more than purest ancient Egyptians.
 
Interestingly, modern Near Easterners are the construct of BA mixing, a similar process as in Europe in BA. Well, there are some changes since, but not that dramatic.

For some parts of the Middle East it occurred before the BA. The three genetic components Caucasians are makeup of; EHG, EEF, CHG were present in the Caucasus by at least 4000 BC. The same could be true for Anatolia and Mesoptamia. IranChalolithic isn't radically different from Assyrians, Kurds, Persians, etc.

Maybe nothing like the expansion of Steppe ancestry in Europe occurred in the Middle East. It expanded from out of a pocket in Russia to most of Europe in about 500 years.
 
Looks like modern Palestinians and Bedouin A are the closest to Levant BA and BA Egypt. Was Levant BA the Semitic birthplace?

I think the southern Levant is most commonly proposed as the homeland of Semitic. Those Bedouin samples incidentally are from the Negev just south of the Levant.
 
Levant Bronze Age is very similar to the ancient Egyptian sample, which I think will turn out to be close to the Egyptian Copts. They don't at all look Cypriot to me.

copt.jpg


afp_j0350.jpg


_63782333_63782332.jpg


Greek Cypriots:
STK_1563.jpg



Obviously, there are a few non-Cypriots in the following. :)
adsiz_1.jpg


Plus, didn't the paper on the Canaanites tell us that these Bronze Age Canaanite samples have no derived SLC45A2, so not only different than people in the Levant today, but also quite a bit darker than the people of the Anatolia Neolithic and the EEF of Europe, who did have reasonably high percentages of derived SLC45A2. In fact, I think a recent paper revised those estimates upwards from where they were a while ago.. This might suggest that most of the Iran Chl, like the CHG themselves, only had the derived SLC25A2 allele, and thus were rather darker than not only Anatolia Neolithic, but also Levant Neolithic, since some of them also had derived SLC45A2, although the Natufians did not.

The admixture run isn't optimal, but going by that the Bronze Age Levant doesn't look all that different from the Saudis. So, maybe tribal Saudis or Yeminis without obvious SSA?

sanaa-yemen-10th-dec-2015-yemeni-tribal-men-attend-a-rally-against-F8N8NW.jpg




Bedouin_family-Wahiba_Sands.jpg


Who knows, though?
There were comments from newspapers about this study as well. One paper I read on line was saying that the study showed that (many mummies of 96 of them, where they were able to extract DNA) mummies were carrying the gene for white skin. The population of Egypt back then was compared with Turkeys population today. Since Turkey today has all possible shades of European populations I don't know what they mean by Turkish. That's why I said probably Cyprus was the best candidate.
 
Levant Bronze Age is very similar to the ancient Egyptian sample, which I think will turn out to be close to the Egyptian Copts. They don't at all look Cypriot to me.

copt.jpg


afp_j0350.jpg


_63782333_63782332.jpg


Greek Cypriots:
STK_1563.jpg



Obviously, there are a few non-Cypriots in the following. :)
adsiz_1.jpg


Plus, didn't the paper on the Canaanites tell us that these Bronze Age Canaanite samples have no derived SLC45A2, so not only different than people in the Levant today, but also quite a bit darker than the people of the Anatolia Neolithic and the EEF of Europe, who did have reasonably high percentages of derived SLC45A2. In fact, I think a recent paper revised those estimates upwards from where they were a while ago.. This might suggest that most of the Iran Chl, like the CHG themselves, only had the derived SLC25A2 allele, and thus were rather darker than not only Anatolia Neolithic, but also Levant Neolithic, since some of them also had derived SLC45A2, although the Natufians did not.

The admixture run isn't optimal, but going by that the Bronze Age Levant doesn't look all that different from the Saudis. So, maybe tribal Saudis or Yeminis without obvious SSA?

sanaa-yemen-10th-dec-2015-yemeni-tribal-men-attend-a-rally-against-F8N8NW.jpg




Bedouin_family-Wahiba_Sands.jpg


Who knows, though?
This one is a coment by "washington post" about the topic:The scientists compared these ancient genetics with those of 100 modern Egyptians and 125 modern Ethiopians that had been previously analyzed. If you ask Egyptians, they'll say that they have become more European recently, Krause said. “We see exactly the opposite,” he said.


So The post is saying that back then many Egyptians from this site looked more European
 
I knew the reporters would miss interpret derived allele A111t(rs1426654) in ancient Egyptians. That mutation is overrated. For too long it was viewed as the cause of European light skin. But still today researchers overrate its affect on skin color.

Yeah, that mutation in ancient Egyptians indicates their skin wasn't as Black as night but it doesn't indicate they had "light skin" which is what the paper said. Now I bet some articles online are going to miss interprat that information and information about Egyptians relationship to Neolithic Europeans and conclude ancient Egyptians were white Europeans.

Just look at ancient Egyptian art. They depicted themselves with brown skin.
 
I knew the reporters would miss interpret derived allele A111t(rs1426654) in ancient Egyptians. That mutation is overrated. For too long it was viewed as the cause of European light skin. But still today researchers overrate its affect on skin color.

Yeah, that mutation in ancient Egyptians indicates their skin wasn't as Black as night but it doesn't indicate they had "light skin" which is what the paper said. Now I bet some articles online are going to miss interprat that information and information about Egyptians relationship to Neolithic Europeans and conclude ancient Egyptians were white Europeans.

Just look at ancient Egyptian art. They depicted themselves with brown skin.

I agree with you! I'm tired of euro centrists, Nordicists, and skinheads stating that they claim every ancient civilization bc that's crazy talk. And yes, by the data, the ancient Egyptians were NOT genetically close to european farmers. Not by a long shot.
 
Skin genes are not like hair and eye genes, based on personal observations of mixed people. Hair and eyes have dominant and recessive genes, of which color is one component. Skin of mixed people is always a gradient between the parents. Mix a Nigerian and a Swede and you will always get the brown color in between, but never a white or black skin. The eyes and hair would be dark and less coarse than the Nigerian's, but the children of that mixed child could produce light hair or eyes if their partner had the correct genes.

Therefore, I'm not sure how you can say "light skin genes" as it appears to be much more fluid than other types of genes.
 
I agree with you! I'm tired of euro centrists, Nordicists, and skinheads stating that they claim every ancient civilization bc that's crazy talk. And yes, by the data, the ancient Egyptians were NOT genetically close to european farmers. Not by a long shot.

At the same time you have the We Wuz Kingz Afro-centrists who claim that ancient Chinese were black, the vikings were black, Shakespeare was black etc.
 
At the same time you have the We Wuz Kingz Afro-centrists who claim that ancient Chinese were black, the vikings were black, Shakespeare was black etc.

Heh I have met those. Frustrating and amusing at the same time. I suppose there's an internal affinity towards tribalism that makes people behave this way. Afro master race! Nordic master race! Celtic master race! Italian master race! Iberian master race! Croatian master race! Japanese master race! etc.
 
At the same time you have the We Wuz Kingz Afro-centrists who claim that ancient Chinese were black, the vikings were black, Shakespeare was black etc.

I agree, they're just as bad.
 
Skin genes are not like hair and eye genes, based on personal observations of mixed people. Hair and eyes have dominant and recessive genes, of which color is one component. Skin of mixed people is always a gradient between the parents. Mix a Nigerian and a Swede and you will always get the brown color in between, but never a white or black skin. The eyes and hair would be dark and less coarse than the Nigerian's, but the children of that mixed child could produce light hair or eyes if their partner had the correct genes.

Therefore, I'm not sure how you can say "light skin genes" as it appears to be much more fluid than other types of genes.

I don't think so.
I know of a case where a white woman cheated on her white husband with a black man and got a perfect white daughter, and the white husband was never aware of the cheating.
Then the white daughter got pregnant from her white boyfriend and got a black son.
Her white boyfriend rejected her and her black son, untill a DNA test proved what had realy happened.
 
Look, for the ten thousandths time, gentlemen, pigmentation is a polygenic trait. There's no way we can get a fix on it without getting the results for a whole group of alleles and running them through algorithms. That's why the academics always speak in relative terms.

The allele in question does impact skin color. However, what is commonly perceived as "European" skin color pigmentation also seems to be very affected by derived SLC45A2. Going by memory, the paper on the Canaanites said that among today's Levantines, 1/3 (or was it 2/3?) have at least one copy of derived SLC45A2 along with the other major skin lightening allele. So, all they could say is that the Bronze Age Canaanites and the Levant Bronze Age people were probably darker than some of today's people from the same region. The ancient Egyptian samples also lack this second skin lightening allele, and they also possess some degree of SSA which the ancient samples from the Levant did not, so I highly doubt they were German looking or Greek Cypriot looking. Neither, however, did they look SSA. So, I guess racists on either side aren't happy.

Reporters always get things wrong. It's just the way it is.
 
I agree with you! I'm tired of euro centrists, Nordicists, and skinheads stating that they claim every ancient civilization bc that's crazy talk. And yes, by the data, the ancient Egyptians were NOT genetically close to european farmers. Not by a long shot.
I don't know what you mean by that. They had a lot of "farmer" ancestry. Perhaps it was more Levant Neolithic, but Levant Neolithic contained minority Anatolian Neolithic, just as Anatolian Neolithic contained minority Levant Neolithic. Plus, which European farmers do you mean? The early Neolithic farmers in Europe picked up almost no additional WHG. That only happened thousands of years later in the MN, when it went up to about 20-25% depending on the area.

Of course, it seems the Egyptians from the era in question did have some Iran Chl. type material, but it wasn't much. They did have, for a lower bound number, about 6% SSA, which European Neolithic people did not.

The skin pigmentation of European farmers also seems to have been quite different. On the other hand, everybody at that point in time was darker than today.
 
I think that we should also keep in mind that this paper only covers a relatively recent period in Egyptian ancient history. We have no idea of the SSA profile of the ancient Egyptians before that time. It might have been higher, so any "crowing" seems a little premature. There were also Nubian rulers of Egypt, so who knows how that affected gene flow. Or even, as they imply, if the Old Kingdom wasn't significantly higher in SSA, we don't know the profile as you move further south toward Libya.
 
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I don't think so.
I know of a case where a white woman cheated on her white husband with a black man and got a perfect white daughter, and the white husband was never aware of the cheating.
Then the white daughter got pregnant from her white boyfriend and got a black son.
Her white boyfriend rejected her and her black son, untill a DNA test proved what had realy happened.

That is interesting. I've seen hundreds of mixes and never heard of that before. Do they have available public pics, like a FB profile or something? I believe you, but I find it so bizarre that it must be a rare occurrence.
 
Sorry for mis-wording things, by northeast Africans I was referring to modern Egyptians, Tunisians, and Algerians. These groups are the closest to the ancient Egyptian samples studied in this study.

As I explained, they're not north-east Africans: they're North Africans. Plus, this group of ancient Egyptians may have had less SSA than modern Tunisians and Algerians, depending on the tools used. The authors go to great lengths to point out that although there is continuity in Egypt, the ancient Egyptians, who aren't so ancient, are closer to some other groups. From admixture it looks as if they're closer to minimally SSA admixed Saudis. I have to check the Supplement and the other types of analyses to make sure.
 

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