Genetic Origins of Minoans and Mycenaeans

Evo Morales is just like commoner Quechuas. But the average landowner in Bolivia is about 30% European, while the average peasant in Bolivia is only about 5% European. However, thanks to social mobility their president is a Quechua peasant with less than 5% European. Some people become elites thanks to their merits, not blood.

I think that the situation in Mycenaean Greece could be similar to this in modern Bolivia (with commoners being "almost pure Pelasgians", while aristocracy being on average more Steppe-admixed):


Read the paper, and the supplement, and the figures, all of it, including the new methodology, and while you're at it go back and read the Southeastern European paper by Iain Mathiesen, and look at the Bronze Age samples there. The Balkans, Southeastern Europe, Iberia don't fit your template...period. Too bad. Either you have no clue what you're talking about, or you just want to spread your Nordicist-Slavic supremacy nonsense. Either way, I have no time for it, so consider yourself ignored.
 
Fire haired, can you do a d stat on south italians?

Rob at Anthrogenica already did them. We need ancient dna from Italy badly.

I also would like to see samples analyzed by the new tools presented in this paper.
 
Yeah? Well, the royal Mycenaean male is just like commoner males, same minute amount of steppe, as directly from the paper. Did you miss that part or you hoped everyone else did?

The "elite" female from very late Minoan times could have had ancestry from a far off place. We just don't know, but it was quite common to bring wives from far away groups.

What high steppe in Greeks? Look carefully at the "steppe" in Greeks, and mainland Thessaly Greeks at that. Who are you trying to kid?
Haak-et-al-2015-Figure-3-Admixture-Proportions-in-Modern-DNA-With-Linguistic-and-Historical-Origins-Added.png


You can't spread misinformation here, do you understand?

Keep it up with the provocative posts ******** other ethnicities and you'll get another infraction. Are we clear?

Just eyeballing it, the modern Northern Greeks look like they have about 20% "steppe" as defined by Yamnaya, and that's after the Slavic invasions and it's in the north. The Mycenaeans were at about 13%. So, I'm afraid your fantasies and your trying to provoke Greeks are not based on facts, as usual.

Given this data, 13% steppe, why exactly would people assume we'd be finding lots of R1a? I'm not saying there isn't some and it won't show up, btw.
 
Razib Khan has opined.

https://gnxp.nofe.me/2017/08/02/when-the-ancestors-were-cyclops/

For those who need it said over and over again...

"[FONT=&quot]About 85% of the ancestry of the Minoan samples could be modeled as being derived from Anatolian farmers, the ancestors of the “Early European Farmers” (EEF) that introduced agriculture to most of the continent, and whose heritage is most clear in modern populations among Sardinians. For the three Mycenaean samples the value is closer to 80% (though perhaps high 70s is more accurate)."

Actually, it's only the interior isolated Sardinians, but that's nit-picking.

"[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Now the question though is what’s the balance? For the Minoans the residual is a component which seems to derive from “Eastern Farmer” populations. Additionally the authors note that the Y chromosomes in four out of five individuals in their Mycenaean-Minoan-Anatolians are haplogroup J associated with these eastern groups, rather than the ubiquitous G2 of the earlier farmer populations. The authors suggest that in the 4th millennium B.C. there was a demographic event where this ancestral component swept west, and served as the common Mycenaean-Minoan (and Anatolian) substrate.

Just so we're clear, not a "ton" of eastern, and not 25%.

"[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]But the Mycenaean samples (one of which was elite, two of which were not) also have a third component: [/FONT]affinities with steppe populations. One model which presents itself is that there was a pulse out of the Balkans, and this was part of the dynamic described in Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe. But another model, which they could not reject, is that the steppe affinity came from the east, perhaps from a proto-Armenian population. Additionally, they did not find much steppe ancestry in the Anatolian samples at all."

"
[FONT=&quot]My own preference is for a migration through the Balkans. It seems relatively straightforward. As for why the Anatolian samples did not have the steppe ancestry, the authors provide the reasonable supposition that Indo-European in Anatolia branched off first, and the demographic signal was diluted over successor generations. Perhaps. But another aspect of Anatolia is that it seems the Hittites, the [/FONT]Nesa, where never a numerous population in comparison to the Hatti amongst whom they lived. Perhaps a good model for their rise and takeover may be that of the post-Roman West and the Franks in Gaul."

I think there were more Franks in Gaul, but no matter.

"[FONT=&quot]Then the question becomes [/FONT]how does a less numerous people impose their language on a more numerous one? This happens. See the Hungarians for an example. In fact the paper which covered the other end of the Mediterranean, The population genomics of archaeological transition in west Iberia: Investigation of ancient substructure using imputation and haplotype-based methods, suggests that language shift can occur in unpredictable ways. On the one hand Basques seem to have mostly Indo-European Y chromosomes, but their whole genome ancestry indicates less exogenous input than their neighbors. Speaking of which, we know by the Classical period large regions of western Spain were dominated by Celtic speaking peoples, but the genetic imprint of the Indo-Europeans is still very modest in the Iberian peninsula.:"

Maybe if it comes from a man some Neanderthals will be more willing to accept it.

Pay attention, Tomenable:


"
[FONT=&quot]I think what we’re seeing here is the difference between Indo-European agro-pastoralists arriving to a landscape of relatively simple societies with more primal institutions, and those who migrated into regions where local population densities are higher and social complexity is also greater. This higher social complexity means that external elites can takeover a [/FONT]system, as opposed to an almost animal competition for resources as seems to have occurred in Northern Europe."
 
Actually I don't even need the d-stats, but thank you. Ancient Greeks were Sicilian like, and they plot close to Sicilians. They were just how most people expected them to be. Let's all relax and enjoy the rest of the summer ;)
 
This is such an exciting paper, science is awesome.

From Page 4:

"We estimated the fixation index, FST, of Bronze Age populations with present-day West Eurasians, finding that Mycenaeans were least differentiated from populations from Greece, Cyprus, Albania, and Italy (Fig. 2), part of a general pattern in which Bronze Age populations broadly resembled present-day inhabitants from the same region(Extended Data Fig. 7)"

Figure 2:

nature23310-f2.jpg


Extended Figure 7:

nature23310-sf7.jpg

Yes it is awesome. This looks like genetic relatedness or continuity to my layperson's eyes. If true, I hope this finally puts to rest the ideas that Greeks and other regional peoples were completely replaced by "modern" invasions--those that occurred for example from Roman times forward.
 
A great paper though somewhat inconclusive about origin of Mycenaeans, in light of the IE transition part.

Anyway, I'm so glad that it confirms what I saw in HarappaWorld admixtures for this region. We have a transition from European Neolithic towards Anatolian Chalcolithic and Armenia BA. Though I was suspecting the transition happened during BA but Anatolian BA is shifted towards Levant BA. Well, this might depend on sampled region I guess. Theirs was from SE Anatolia. Then, I envisioned Mycenaeans coming at the end of BA with more Armenia BA admixture, bringing IE language and some steppe/NE Euro/Baloch admixture. So far so good, however, it is still possible that Mycenaeans have come from Central Europe/Hungarian BA. Tough their lack of R1 haplogroups points more to Anatolia/Armenia origin, I guess. More samples in the future should clear this up.
 
The aristocratic sample was 30% Steppe (while commoners only few % Steppe):

hgGmGHl.png


Modern continental Greeks have a lot more of Steppe than those Mycenaean continental commoners, while modern Cretans have much less of Steppe than that Post-Minoan aristocratic woman from Crete.
Why are you so excited about samples containing steppe admixture only. You can't like other human beings if they don't have it! Nuts!
 
This whole paper is amusing to me because I remember davidski claiming just a few weeks ago that genetically Mycenaeans would appear just like the steppe individuals. If anything it leads me to believe they came from the east.

Actually I don't even need the d-stats, but thank you. Ancient Greeks were Sicilian like, and they plot close to Sicilians. They were just how most people expected them to be. Let's all relax and enjoy the rest of the summer ;)

Why would the Mycenaeans be closer to Sicilians than modern Greeks though? The inhabitants of Magna Grecia mixed with the native inhabitants of the Sicily itself when they first colonized, they even considered themselves a new people, and the island has been home to everyone from the Carthaginians to the Normans. That would mean mixing with the Sicels changed very little and then they remained the same for the next 3000 years while Greece failed too.
 
Actually I don't even need the d-stats, but thank you. Ancient Greeks were Sicilian like, and they plot close to Sicilians. They were just how most people expected them to be. Let's all relax and enjoy the rest of the summer ;)

Well, I would gather some people are surprised, and not pleasantly so! :)

Promenade: I remember davidski claiming just a few weeks ago that genetically Mycenaeans would appear just like the steppe individuals.
 
This whole paper is amusing to me because I remember davidski claiming just a few weeks ago that genetically Mycenaeans would appear just like the steppe individuals. If anything it leads me to believe they came from the east.



Why would the Mycenaeans be closer to Sicilians than modern Greeks though? The inhabitants of Magna Grecia mixed with the native inhabitants of the Sicily itself when they first colonized, they even considered themselves a new people, and the island has been home to everyone from the Carthaginians to the Normans. That would mean mixing with the Sicels changed very little and then they remained the same for the next 3000 years while Greece failed too.


One factor might be that the mainland Greeks, particularly in the north, received some ancestry from the migration of the Slavic tribes. The Italians got virtually none of that. Northern Italians and Tuscans did get some Celtic and some, if less, Germanic, the prior before the fall of Rome, in the first millennium BC, and the latter after the fall of Rome, but much less of it got to places like Sicily. In fact, I think a good percentagae of what they did get was mediated through the Romans, perhaps, and then the "Lombards", i.e. northern Italians from Lombardia and Liguria and some from Piemonte, as well as from the native "Italic" tribes, who might not have had all that much "steppe" by the time they got to Sicily. I mean, look at the "steppe" percentages in Bronze Age Iberia, even with all that R1b. The small percentage from the Muslim invasions in Sicily and perhaps infusing a bit into far southern Italy didn't change things very much, apparently, at least that's what it looks like to me based on the NA percentages autosomally.

We won't really know if we're totally on the right track, however, until we get ancient dna from Italy. That will trump any speculations based on PCAs, modern proportions etc. I don't mean to imply otherwise.

I've been saying since I was on dna forums and then on 23andme and then here that all that "West Asian" in southern Italy and Sicily did not come with the Muslims. The folk migration to Sicily was from North Africa, and we know how much North African they have. The "Arabs" were the very thin layer at the top, the elites. We'll have to see what the ancient dna from Italy tells us about what Bronze Age and Magna Graecia southern Italians were like.

There's also been a lot of ******** and mythology on the internet about southern Italy/Sicily. The Normans were under 100 men at arms when they arrived. How much autosomal change could they have brought? The Carthaginians had two small emporia in northwestern Sicily, no presence at all on mainland southern Italy. It wouldn't matter to me in the least if southern Italians had a lot of this ancestry, but I still believe that major autosomal change comes from large folk migrations which does not describe these people at all.

I don't know what the ancient dna will show for Italy, but it seems pretty clear that Iberia and Greece don't fit the same pattern as central and Northern Europe. How could they? It's very different when you move into virtually de-populated places or where the "natives" have experienced lots of disease and debilitation from repeated crop failures due to either degradation of the soil and/or climate change?
 
Really I get much fun from steppemaniacs, how they transform a paper in a kind of game show about who is more steppic.

But now back to the serious matter, the game show is hijacked by an incapability to distingish between EHG and WHG and between direct CHG and hybridized European CHG.
 
Yes Yetos, you are correct. My bad here.

Dorian Invasion is an inner ddevastation on NW Greeks to S Greeks
and is much much younger for at least 1500 years from the bellow
Maybe you reffering to the Mycenean descent that came from Istros (Δουναβης)
 
Nice to finally have some Minoan and Mycenaean genomes.

There are only 4 Minoan and 1 Mycenaean Y-DNA samples, so we can't tell much from that. This data at least confirms that the Minoans carried G2a, J1a and J2a1 as I had predicted. Too bad they couldn't identify the deeper clades, although I am confident that the J2a1 clades will fall under M319 (Y5009), L210, M92 (Z6254), CTS6804 and YP879. I am certain that T1a-P77 will show up too if more samples are tested. Perhaps some L1b too, but at very low frequency.

It's a shame that there is only one Mycenaean Y-DNA sample as I was really looking forward to know which Steppe Y-DNA they carried. Ever since 2009 I have been wondering if they were primarily R1a (so more Srubna-derived) or R1b (more Catacomb culture-derived), or a blend of both. I think they were primarily R1b-Z2103 but with possibly a bit of R1a. More recently I suggested that they also carried E-V13 and J2b lineages and that they may have been related to the Illyrians who invaded the Balkans around the same time. The J2a1 sample tested is obviously an assimilated Minoan, so it doesn't shed any light on the patrilineal origins of Mycenaeans.

The mtDNA data is not much more useful for the Mycenaeans. Oddly, 3 out of the 4 samples tested belonged to the rare haplogroup X2. The 4th is merely reported as H, which could be anything.

If we exclude uncertain haplogroups like H and T2b, about half of Minoan mtDNA samples could be traced back the Neolithic Greece (J2b1a, K1a2, U5a1). The rest shows strong affinities with Anatolia and the Caucasus (haplogroups H13a1, I5, U3b3) and was mostly absent from Neolithic Europe. Note that U3b was not found in Neolithic Europe and the oldest known sample in Europe so far was from Thracia dated 800-500 BCE.

The admixture data as presented in the paper do not really allow to determine the actual proportion of Minoan DNA that was inherited from Neolithic Greece, as opposed to Neolithic Anatolia. What is certain is that the Minoans brought about 20% of CHG admixture that wasn't present before in Neolithic Greece. The Armenian EBA samples had 50% of CHG, so if there had been a direct migration from that region (Kura-Araxes) to Greece, it would mean that 40% of Minoan DNA is from Kura-Araxes. However it is practically impossible that a migration occurs over such a distance without blending with other populations (in Anatolia) on the way. If we look at the Anatolian Bronze Age samples, they either have 20% or 25% of CHG, which is almost identical to that of the Minoans. This could mean that a much bigger portion of Minoan DNA is not descended from Neolithic Greece. I wouldn't say 100% because of the presence of U5a1 and J2b1a (K1a2 was also found in Neolithic Anatolia though), but I'd say that over 50% and up to 85% of Minoan DNA came from the wave of EBA migrants from Anatolia.

The authors say the Mycenaeans can be modelled as having 13% of Yamna-related admixture, but have more if we take Srubnaya or Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Europe as the source population of the invaders. I wonder why they do not take into account the possibility that the Mycenaeans came from the Middle Bronze Age Balkans? The most likely scenario based on archaeological evidence is that they originated in the Late Catacomb or Early Srubna culture, but first settled in the Balkans, including Illyria, before truly invading Greece shortly after. They would have spent only a few generations in the Balkans, but that may be enough to acquire more Neolithic farmer DNA. In any case, the overall genetic impact of the Mycenaean invaders on the population of Greece at the time would be at least 15-20%. It's just very hard to tell apart all that ENF admixture.
 
There is something I don't understand in the admixture analysis from the paper. Modern Greeks from Thessaloniki are shown as having 20% of red EHG, 20% of pink CHG, 59% of blue ENF and 1% of dark green Natufian, but they completely lack the purple admixture that makes up 35-100% of Neolithic Greeks, 15-30% of Minoans and 25-45% of Mycenaeans. It's also missing from other modern Greeks and Cypriots. What happened to that admixture? It couldn't simply have vanished like that. Is that because they didn't re-run those samples using the same K17 parameters? If so that would be highly unprofessional of them for a published peer-reviewed paper. If not, that raises a lot of questions.

nature23310-sf1.jpg



I also disagree with Lazaridis and al. when they say that "Modern Greeks resemble the Mycenaeans, but with some additional dilution of the Early Neolithic ancestry". Mycenaeans are much closer to the Minoans than to Modern Greeks. Modern Greeks have 3x more EHG (about 20%) than Mycenaeans (7%), but they also have WHG (3% according to D-stat). This suggests that numerous waves of European invaders (Dorians, Celts, Romans, Goths, Slavs) contributed to a large share of modern Greek DNA. Since obviously no invader to Greece were pure EHG, and none had more than 50% of EHG in average (30-35% might be more realistic as the Romans had comparatively low EHG), to increase from 7% to 20% of EHG, the percentage of post-Mycenaean DNA from European invaders must be comprised between 25% and 40%. Most of it will be blue ENF and pink CHG that won't be identifiable using these relatively simple admixtures. What we see is only the clear increase in EHG, which is only one third to half of the new invaders' DNA.

In other words modern Greeks are nothing like Mycenaean Greeks, and even less Minoan Greeks. Modern Greeks have much more European ancestry. Y-DNA alone suggests 40 to 45% of European lineages (as opposed to Near Eastern), and over 60% if we included E-V13 (E1b1b came from the Near East but E-V13 clearly emerged in Europe). Greeks possess lineages that are clearly Germanic (3.5% of I1, so about 10% of Germanic overall with I2a2-L801, R1b-U106 and R1a-L664), Slavic (11% of R1a, which is overwhelmingly M458 and CTS1211) and Italo-Celtic (about 7% of R1b-U152 and 1% of G2a-L497).
 
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The authors say the Mycenaeans can be modelled as having 13% of Yamna-related admixture, but have more if we take Srubnaya or Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Europe as the source population of the invaders. I wonder why they do not take into account the possibility that the Mycenaeans came from the Middle Bronze Age Balkans? The most likely scenario based on archaeological evidence is that they originated in the Late Catacomb or Early Srubna culture, but first settled in the Balkans, including Illyria, before truly invading Greece shortly after. They would have spent only a few generations in the Balkans, but that may be enough to acquire more Neolithic farmer DNA. In any case, the overall genetic impact of the Mycenaean invaders on the population of Greece at the time would be at least 15-20%. It's just very hard to tell apart all that ENF admixture.

afaik charriots and swords appeared in the Carpathian Basin, not the Balkans prior to the appearance of the Myceneans
anyway it is strange that BA Balkan or Carpathian Basin DNA does not appear in the models
 
afaik charriots and swords appeared in the Carpathian Basin, not the Balkans prior to the appearance of the Myceneans
anyway it is strange that BA Balkan or Carpathian Basin DNA does not appear in the models

It depends on one's definitions of Balkans. I sometimes include the Carpathians too (notably Romania). I should have said Southeast Europe.
 
@Maciamo,
"In other words modern Greeks are nothing like Mycenaean Greeks, and even less Minoan Greeks. "

Myceneans were Greeks, the literal predecessor of modern Greece, I can't imagine that modern Greeks are nothing like them? You just said modern Greeks might have 25-40% non-Mycenean ancestry, that would still make them mostly Mycenaean. I remember reading that Greek Islanders don't have the North European admixture mainland Greeks do. They might be roughly the same as Mycenaeans.
 
Stone Henge and the Minoan civilization were created by very close relatives, mind blowing. Both were 70-80% EEF.

Another interesting thing is both the Minoans and the Egyptians were indigenous to their separate regions. Egyptians mostly Levant_Neo, Minoans mostly Anatolia_Neo. Both were indigenous, descended from the primitive stone age people that lived in their regions 1,000s of years earlier.
 
@Maciamo,
"In other words modern Greeks are nothing like Mycenaean Greeks, and even less Minoan Greeks. "

Myceneans were Greeks, the literal predecessor of modern Greece, I can't imagine that modern Greeks are nothing like them? You just said modern Greeks might have 25-40% non-Mycenean ancestry, that would still make them mostly Mycenaean. I remember reading that Greek Islanders don't have the North European admixture mainland Greeks do. They might be roughly the same as Mycenaeans.

That would make them mostly Mycenaeans if you reckon that Mycenaeans are themselves a blend of many populations. They had ancestry from Mesolithic SE Europeans, Neolithic Greeks, Neolithic Anatolians, Chalcolithic Iranians/Caucasians, Bronze Age Kura-Araxes, then of course Mesolithic Steppe (EHG), Neolithic Balkans, Bronze Age Steppe, etc. It's pretty meaningless to say that modern Greeks share 60-75% of DNA with such a heavily admixed population as the Mycenaeans, who shares lots of ancestry with all modern Europeans. With that logic, Albanians and Bulgarians could be just as close to the Mycenaeans.

Anyway, my point was that 25 to 40% of post-Mycenaean ancestry isn't trivial. That's much more than the whole Indo-European ancestry in India, even among the Brahmins (who have 15-20% of Steppe ancestry). According to the Haak et al. (2015) paper (which Angela loves to quote), modern Spaniards have only 20% of Steppe ancestry, while Albanians have a mere 13%. And yet both are considered Indo-European populations (because of the language they speak). This puts into perspective the 25% to 40% of post-Mycenaean European ancestry in modern Greeks. And I did not even include the post-Mycenaean Middle Eastern ancestry! There is no way to calculate this from the admixture data, but why wouldn't other Middle Eastern people have contributed to the modern Greek gene pool in the last 3500 years? After all Greece was part of the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine then Ottoman empires, which had open borders between Greece and the whole eastern Mediterranean from 332 BCE to 1918 CE (2250 years). It's unthinkable that Europeans contributed 40% of modern Greek DNA and that during that time no population exchange at all happened within the empire to which Greece belonged! The genetic exchange with Anatolia would surely have been considerable over time, considering all the Greek-speaking cities in Ionia or the Pontus, and the displacement of all these Anatolian Greeks to European Greece after 1918. Iosif Lazaridis is himself a Greek whose family hails from the Pontus region. It's baffling that he shouldn't have considered the impact of over 2000 years of intermingling with neighbouring Anatolian populations on those Greek communities that later resettled in the modern state of Greece.

It's very hard to estimate how much DNA in modern Greeks came from Anatolia, or elsewhere in the Near East, in the last 2000 or 3000 years, but I am confident it is more than 10% and probably more than 20%. So overall it could be than less than half of the modern Greek DNA is directly inherited from the Mycenaean-age population.
 

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