Haplogroup J2, Greeks, Phoenicians and Mesopotamians.

Haplogroup J2, Phoenicians and the spread of the Alphabet.


"Phoenicians themselves reportedly had a rich literature, it was totally lost in antiquity. That's ironic, because the Phoenicians actually developed the modern alphabet and spread it through trade to their ports of call. Acting as cultural middlemen, the Phoenicians disseminated ideas, myths, and knowledge from the powerful Assyrian and Babylonian worlds in what is now Syria and Iraq to their contacts in the Aegean. Those ideas helped spark a cultural revival in Greece, one which led to the Greeks' Golden Age and hence the birth of Western civilization. The Phoenicians imported so much papyrus from Egypt that the Greeks used their name for the first great Phoenician port, Byblos, to refer to the ancient paper. The name Bible, or "the book," also derives from Byblos. Today, Spencer Wells says, "Phoenicians have become ghosts, a vanished civilization." Now he and Zalloua hope to use a different alphabet, the molecular letters of DNA, to exhume these ghosts."
National Geographic - Who were the Phoenicians?
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature2/?fs=www3.nationalgeographic.com

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Haplogroup J2 and the Spread of the Alphabet. (Greek and Phoenician)

The Abduction of Europa: mosaic, Byblos, 3rd century A.D . National Museum of Beirut Collection. According to the Greek legend Europa’s brother Cadmus went looking for his kidnapped sister who is depicted on the mosaic being whisked away on the back of Zeus disguised as a bull. The story goes that in his search for Europe Cadmos transmitted the Phoenician alphabet to the Hellenes.

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"Cadmus or Kadmos (Ancient Greek: Κάδμος), in Greek mythology, was a Phoenician prince, the son of king Agenor and queen Telephassa of Tyre and the brother of Phoenix, Cilix and Europa. He was originally sent by his royal parents to seek out and escort his sister Europa back to Tyre after she was abducted from the shores of Phoenicia by Zeus. Cadmus founded the Greek city of Thebes, the acropolis of which was originally named Cadmeia in his honour. Cadmus was credited by the ancient Greeks (Herodotus is an example) with introducing the original Alphabet or Phoenician alphabet -- phoinikeia grammata, "Phoenician letters"—to the Greeks, who adapted it to form their Greek alphabet."
Cadmus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmus

"The authors found a weak – but significant – genetic signature among their samples that could not be explained by chance. Many of the samples belonged to a very specific branch of haplogroup J2, which the authors believe points back to distinct migrations by Phoenician traders from the Middle East into Europe and North Africa more than 3,000 years ago."
Ripples in the Mediterranean: Tracing the Genetic Origins of the Phoenicians.
http://blog.23andme.com/ancestry/rip...e-phoenicians/

"The ancient Greeks and Phoenicians were the main driving forces behind the spread of J2 around the western and southern Mediterranian."
Eupedia.com, 2013.
http://www.eupedia.com/europe/origin...s_europe.shtml

"In 2004, two geneticists educated at Harvard University and leading scientists of the National Geographic Genographic Project, Dr. Pierre Zalloua and Dr. Spencer Wells, identified "the haplogroup of the Phoenicians" as haplogroup J2, with avenues open for future research."

Familypedia.com - Phoenicia.
http://familypedia.wikia.com/wiki/Phoenicia

"Occurrence of J2-M172 Y-chromosomes in Tuscany has been related to the Etruscan heritage of the region."
Uniparental Markers of Contemporary Italian Population Reveals Details on Its Pre-Roman Heritage.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0050794

"There is a distinct association of ancient J2 civilisations with bull worship."

Eupedia.com, 2011.
http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_J2_Y-DNA.shtml

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_alphabet

"Phoenician became one of the most widely used writing systems, spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world, where it was assimilated by many other cultures and evolved."
Phoenician Alphabet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenician_alphabet

"The Greek alphabet was developed by a Greek with first-hand experience of contemporary Phoenician script and, almost as quickly as it was established in the Greek mainland was rapidly re-exported, eastwards to Phrygia, where a similar script was devised, and westwards with Euboean or West Greek traders, where the Etruscans adapted the Greek alphabet to their own language."
History of the Greek Alphabet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...Greek_alphabet

"The Latin alphabet is the main writing system in use in the Western world and is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world. It is the standard script of the English language and is often referred to simply as "the alphabet" in English. It is a true alphabet which originated in the 7th century BC in Italy and has changed continually over the last 2500 years. It has roots in the Semitic alphabet and its offshoot alphabets, the Phoenician, Greek, and Etruscan."
History of the Latin Alphabet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...Latin_alphabet

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Hello Rhas. My nick is the word given to the island of Malta. Maleth means harbour or save haven (because of the numerous sheltered harbours around the Island. It is later believed to have been kept by to Romans and by time being called Melita.

These are some facts about present day understanding on the different time frames on the Islands

A) temple building. Malta's oldest temple date back to approx 5600BCE which makes them older than the pyramids of Egypt. There are intense studies at the moment in coloration with the University of Belfast. The temples could be well in connection with the 'old Europe' culture. I am hoping that dna testing will be carried out on the bones found on the site and determine haplogroups. This culture disappeared suddenly and the new studies will reveal why it came to an abrupt end. There are many theories (climate change, disease, erosion and so on) but nothing proved yet. The next evidence of other culture was the Phoenecians.

B) Phoenicians arrived in the 7th century BC. They founded to old captial (present day Mdina) and called it Maleth. As I said earlier the Romans kept the same name but was corrupted by time (Maleth / Melita / Malta). There were two phoenetician temples both close to the main harbours dedicated to Juno and Astarte. One still has its original foundations in the south and the other (documented in Roman writings) was in the entrance in todays grand harbour on the other side of Valletta (Probably where there is the great fort of St Angelo in Birgu). In the temple of the south were found two coloums with both Greek and Phoenician inscriptions (one of them is in the Louvre in Paris) This helped a great deal to decipher the Phoenician language through the Greek

C) during the arab period alhymardi (not sure if I spelt his name correctly) wrote that Malta was an uninhabited island and visited by fishermen and for logging and was inhabited by wild donkeys. This was after the fatimids laid seige on the Byzantines (so again it seems there was another culture meltdown and no continuation between these two well known groups that is the temple builders and the Phoenicians)

D) However Malta was repopulated again during the end of the Arab (870AD to 1091AD) (or more precise the Fatimid period) who occupied Sicily too. The people that repopulated Malta came from Sicily, So the modern day population (that has some 22% J2) would have arrived from Sicily. In fact DNA proves that Maltese DNA is related very closely to South Italy and Sicily according to a study by Capelli et al. Of course these also have large pools of J2 that could mark the Greek or Phoenician elements in both populations but not a continuous one on the Island of Malta (as per the writings left by Hymradi)

E) It used to be believed that Malta holds some ancient form of Phoenician language but nearly all linguists now believe that Maltese is a reminiscent of the Lingua franka spoken in Spain and sicily during the Fatimid occupation, also called siculo arabic. Of course this language has been lost in both Spain and Sicily (some words and place names still evident), but survived in Malta mainly thanks to the British as they fought hard for the Italian Language not to take over the Islands so Maltese became more prevalent. Now both Maltese and English are national languages with Maltese being the only semetic language written in Latin characters in Europe.

I hope this helps.

Excellent post, Maleth. Thank you. Great video, too.

I once spent quite a bit of time studying the period of the great conflict between the Ottomans and Western Christendom, and particularly the role of the Knights of St. John in that conflict. I never really focused on how much that period could have influenced the genetics of the area, although I should have, considering the reports about how all the people of Gozo, or example, were taken into slavery.

I think there's insufficient attention paid to the fact that there has been population replacement in certain areas, and the people are therefore not going to reflect ancient populations very well. Many genetics papers, in my opinion, suffer from the fact that the authors often display little knowledge of the history of the areas under discussion.
 
Excellent post, Maleth. Thank you. Great video, too.

Thank you Angela. I am glad you enjoyed the video too :)



I once spent quite a bit of time studying the period of the great conflict between the Ottomans and Western Christendom, and particularly the role of the Knights of St. John in that conflict. I never really focused on how much that period could have influenced the genetics of the area, although I should have, considering the reports about how all the people of Gozo, or example, were taken into slavery.

You are correct. In one particular raid (there used to be many) the Turks took I guess nearly all the population of Gozo into slavery in 1551. Raids were very common at that time although things improved rapidly after the ottoman total defeat after a 4 month siege on Birgu in 1565
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rubruP9p4i8 Soon after La Vallette embarked on building Valletta which was practically impregnable and the Turks never set foot again. During this time it is known from church records that there were many mixed marriages around the harbour area since they have created an important milatry based economy.


I think there's insufficient attention paid to the fact that there has been population replacement in certain areas, and the people are therefore not going to reflect ancient populations very well. Many genetics papers, in my opinion, suffer from the fact that the authors often display little knowledge of the history of the areas under discussion.

You are very correct. This is very evident also in the approach of (example) Spencer wells. It seems he did not check out the history first before making certain statements and while I have no doubt that he has done some great works, some statements seem to be out of context. Example in the year 1223 Emperor Fredrick the 2nd ordered his army to destroy the Castle of Celano and all the male population was exiled to Sicily and Malta. In Malta they settled in the south in the village of Zejtun. During the Aragonese period (before the knights take over) is also known to have been an effort to populate further the islands and many surnames today survive from that period too. So its all quite a pot pourii, not to mention the 180 years of British rule.
 
Haplogroup J2, Phoenicians and Malta.

We can see that the Phoenicians passed through the egyptian Nile and the Red Sea also passing east Africa's Swahili coast and basically contouring all of Africa (for those Atlantic Ocean island skeptics).

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Malta Times - Phoenician replica vessel sails around Africa.
http://www.phoenicia.org.uk/documents/Malta-Times.jpg

"The Phoenicia, a replica 600 BC Phoenician merchant ship, sailed gracefully into Marsamxett harbour today on one of the final legs of an expedition covering 17,000 miles around Africa. The 20m long vessel, built using traditional methods, arrived from Carthage. It is recreating the first circumnavigation of Africa achieved some 2,600 years ago. Malta was an important trading outpost of the Phoenician people, who at the time were regarded as 'rulers of the sea'. They occupied what is now Lebanon and the coastal parts of Syria and Palestine.The Phoenician sphere of influence spread throughout the Mediterranean and their trading activities reached as far as Cornwall for tin, and Indian and China for spices and precious goods."
Times of Malta - History recreated as 'Phoenicia' sails in.
http://www.timesofmalta.com/article...istory-recreated-as-phoenicia-sails-in.328023
 
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So small and yet so historically rich and important.

It is indeed. LeBrok, Mdina (Maleth/Melita as in the name of the Castle as it used to be called) was three times its present size during the Roman period. The Fatimids (northafricans/Arabs) reduced it to its present size after the re population from Sicily and re building a new after the town after destroyed to ruins during the Byzanitine era and left abounded for many years. They also build stronger walls for protection. Very few of the original walls remain. Most of the present walls were re constructed during the Knights of St John era.
 
Malta-Times.jpg

Malta Times - Phoenician replica vessel sails around Africa.
http://www.phoenicia.org.uk/documents/Malta-Times.jpg

"The Phoenicia, a replica 600 BC Phoenician merchant ship, sailed gracefully into Marsamxett harbour today on one of the final legs of an expedition covering 17,000 miles around Africa. The 20m long vessel, built using traditional methods, arrived from Carthage. It is recreating the first circumnavigation of Africa achieved some 2,600 years ago. Malta was an important trading outpost of the Phoenician people, who at the time were regarded as 'rulers of the sea'. They occupied what is now Lebanon and the coastal parts of Syria and Palestine.The Phoenician sphere of influence spread throughout the Mediterranean and their trading activities reached as far as Cornwall for tin, and Indian and China for spices and precious goods."
Times of Malta - History recreated as 'Phoenicia' sails in.
http://www.timesofmalta.com/article...istory-recreated-as-phoenicia-sails-in.328023

Thanks Rhas, I wasnt aware that a replica was done. Having two Phoenician temples on the Island and many punic tombs all over the island can only prove how important the Maltese Islands for the Phoenicians at that time. It is believed the Phoenicians that settled in the Maltese Islands where from Tyre.
 
"De plus, dans ces études, des comparaisons d’haplotypes entre des sites phéniciens et des sites non‐phéniciens ont permis de déterminer des haplogroupes avec une signature phénicienne : Haplogroupe J2 et particulièrement six short sequence repeat du chromosome Y."
Universite de Portiers - Multiples conséquences physiopathologiques de mutations et d'allèles complexes du gène CFTR.
http://nuxeo.edel.univ-poitiers.fr/n...e-4656d5674715

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"The presence of other Y-chromosomal haplogroups: E-V13, E-M81, E-M34, J1-M267, J2-M172, I1-M253, I2-P215 and G2a-P15 would be interpreted as a consequence of the genetic history linked to the Iberian Peninsula, especially, to Andalusia, with a long, prevailing contacts with the Mediterranean world. ... By contrast, the J2-M172 seems to be related to Greek and Phoenicians colonies that were well stablished at least from the first millennium BC in the Peninsula, particularly in littoral Andalusia."
Surnames and Y-Chromosomal Markers Reveal Low Relationships in Southern Spain.
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0123098

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"The PCA also illustrate the genetic affinity of Levantine populations to Europeans especially Italians. In fact, both groups present relatively high frequencies of J-M172 and share some other lineages in particular I-M170 and T-M70. ... Sousse, particularly, possesses a relatively high frequency of haplogroup J-M172 (~9%) that is absent in all of the remaining Tunisian populations with the exception of Andalusians (~3%). Haplogroup J-M172 has been associated with population movements in the Fertile Crescent during the Neolithic Agricultural revolution. Today, it is very frequent in the Levant, Anatolia and Iran and its recent spread in the Mediterranean is believed to have been facilitated by the maritime trading culture of the Phoenicians (1550–300 BC). According to Zalloua and collaborators evidence of Phoenician influence in Tunisian is apparent by the presence of the J-M172 Y-chromosome haplogroup in coastal regions considered as areas of Phoenician contact (versus inland). ... The J-M172 haplogroup associated with the Phoenician expansion is distributed throughout the Mediterranean basin and Asia. It is thought that the Phoenicians originated in what is today coastal Lebanon and subsequently founded and settled several city-states in the Mediterranean including in North Africa. In Tunisia, their population number was estimated, at the end of their dominion, to be 100 000 compared with 500 000 Berbers. It is important to note that although the most famous city founded by the Phoenicians was Carthage, they also established the settlements of Utique and Sousse. Interestingly, Sousse is the only Phoenician town in Tunisia that has been continuously inhabited since its foundation and it is the only population where the J-M172 Phoenician paternal marker is detected. ... A more recent potential Middle Eastern genetic contribution to the North Africa gene pool may be associated with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Sousse also may have been specifically impacted by the Turkish occupation of North Africa. Yet, the unique presence of J-M172 in Sousse and its absence from other Tunisian regions that were under Ottoman influence argues for J-M172 in Sousse as a Phoenician signal."
Sousse: extreme genetic heterogeneity in North Africa.
http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v6...hg201499a.html

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The great Latin poet, Virgil, holding a volume on which is written the Aenid. On either side stand the two muses: "Clio" (history) and "Melpomene" (tragedy). The mosaic, which dates from the 3rd Century A.D., was discovered in the Hadrumetum in Sousse, Tunisia and is now on display in the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia.

"Hadrume(n)tum (sometimes called Adrametum or Adrametus) was a Phoenician colony that pre-dated Carthage and stood on the site of modern-day Sousse, Tunisia. Greek writers referred to Hadrumentum by the names Ἀδρούμητος, Ἀδρύμης and Ἀδραμητός. ... In the 9th century BC, the Phoenicians, astute Levantine maritime traders who would later be supplanted in Northern Africa by their major colony Carthage, sensed the possibilities of a port city south of present-day Tunis and founded Hadrumetum on what is now the Gulf of Hammamet in the Mediterranean Sea. Hadrumetum was one of the most important communities within the Roman territory in northern Africa because of its strategic location on the sea in the heart of the fertile Sahel region. The city allied itself with Rome during the Punic Wars, thereby escaping damage or ruin and entered a relatively peaceful 700-year stint under Pax Romana, although Hannibal made use of it as a military base in his campaign against Scipio Africanus at the close of the Second Punic War. Many records have been found that say the Romans sent a garrison of 5000 soldiers to protect it. They were led by General Septus Loriinus. At some point during this period, the community's name was slightly altered (by the addition of an N) to become Hadrumentum. Under the Roman Empire, Hadrumetum became very prosperous; Trajan gave it the rank of a colonia: "Colonia Concordia Ulpia Trajana Augusta Frugifera Hadrumetina". A breathtaking legacy of intricate Roman mosaics survives from this era, together with many early Christian objects from the catacombs"
Wikipedia - Hadrumentum.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrumetum

Haplogroup J2 & Phoenicians (Carthage).

"By the collapse of the Late Bronze Age societies (approximately 3200 YBP), the Mediterranean Basin underwent different waves of invasion, particularly by the Greeks of the Aegean Sea and, to a lower extent, by Levantine (Phoenicians) groups. Both of them established a set of different colonies along the Mediterranean coasts of Southern Europe and North Africa. The Phoenician colony of Carthage (present-day Tunisia), given its geographic proximity to Sicily, may have played an important role in the colonization of this region. Previous Y-chromosome genetic studies on the Phoenician colonization demonstrated that haplogroup J2 in general, and six haplotypes in particular (PCS1+ through PCS6+), may potentially have represented lineages linked with the spread of the Phoenicians (“Phoenician Colonization Signal”) into the Mediterranean. At this respect, it is worth noting the presence of 4 PCS+ haplotypes (namely PCS1+, PCS2+, PCS4+, PCS5+; [51]) in 9 samples of our Sicilian and Southern Italian dataset, particularly belonging to haplogroups J1-M267 (n = 2), J2-M410* (n = 1), J2-M67 (n = 5), and J2-M12 (n = 2). However, sub-lineages of haplogroup J2 have been also associated with the Neolithic colonization of mainland Greece, Crete and Southern Italy, and our TMRCA estimates for J2-subhaplogroups (ranging from 3271±1157 YBP to 3767±1332 YBP) cannot exclude an earlier arrival of at least some of the J2 chromosomes in Sicily and Southern-Italy during Neolithic times."
An Ancient Mediterranean Melting Pot: Investigating the Uniparental Genetic Structure and Population History of Sicily and Southern Italy
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0096074#pone-0096074-t001

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"The results regarding my paternal genetics were identified as belonging to Haplogroup J2 (M172). This genetic marker dates back to roughly 15 000 yrs ago and is found predominately in the Fertile Crescent. Most prevalent in Southern Italy, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus and several other countries around the Mediterranean and Caucasus region, some sources claim that these are the genes of the ancient Phoenicians who may have settled in the Roman Empire long ago."
Livelearngrow.ca - My Roots.
http://livelearngrow.ca/category/my-roots/

"The excess of haplogroup J2, and PC1+ to PS3+ in coastal Tunisia, the site of Carthage, compared to inland Tunisian populations is exceptionally significant, and suggests that the Roman destruction of Carthage did not eliminate the Carthaginian gene pool."
Anthropology.net - The Y-Chromosomal Footprint Of Phoenicians Throughout The Mediterranean.
http://anthropology.net/2008/10/30/...-of-phoenicians-throughout-the-mediterranean/

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Aeneas recounting the Trojan War to Dido, a painting by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin. This scene is taken from Virgil's Aeneid, where Dido falls in love with, only to be left by, the Trojan hero Aeneas.

"Dido (/ˈdaɪdoʊ/ DY-doh) was, according to ancient Greek and Roman sources, the founder and first Queen of Carthage (in modern-day Tunisia). She is best known from the account given by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid. ...... The person of Dido can be traced to references by Roman historians to lost writings of Timaeus of Tauromenium in Sicily (c. 356–260 BC)."
Wikipedia.org - Dido (Queen of Carthage)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dido_(Queen_of_Carthage)
 
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Italy was the center of the world for a long time. It was the capital of the Roman Empire. People in the Empire aspired to earn Roman citizenship and move to Rome.

Italy also become the center of Christianity. The Roman Empire Semitized when Constantine declared Christianity a state religion. Roman subjects started taking on Semitic names. The Romans established colonies in J2 heavy areas... Africa(Tunisia), Syria-Palestine, and Egypt. They Romanized J2s. The land formerly known as Carthage produced a lot of food, lots of grain. J2 sailors may have loaded up the grain on ships and shipped it all over the Empire.

Take into account the provinces, Chritianization, and the importance of J2 heavy provinces to Rome. Also take into account Phoenicians. There was the big Jewish diaspora where the Romans sacked Judaea. Assyrians were also waging wars in J2 heavy areas. People may have fled.

J2's likely bled into Europe and Italy in waves throughout the centuries. We have a modern crisis right now where Syrians have taken land and Mediterranean marine routes into Europe to escape a war.

Europe is seeing an influx of J1 and J2 refugees.

- Phoenicians
- Carthaginians
- Romanized J2s
- ancient war refugees
- ancient people forcibly displaced by military actions
- traders
 

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