P78 and Ashkenazi Jews with German surname

That's an old and suspect article, as you can tell by the fact that it mentions Elhaik without scoffing.

"The European Jews changed because of Italian mothers" hypothesis, or the related idea that the four founding mothers of the Ashkenazim, representing half of the mtDna in Ashkenazim were European is not universally accepted. It's Richards who went for the most extreme idea, that the majority of Ashkenazim have "European" mtDna. Others, including Costa et al go for a 40% number.

So far as I know, Doron Behar has never changed his opinion that this isn't true.

As to the fact that they were Italian, IBD analysis would indicate they were not.



Another one: it just goes on and on...

Now, most IBD analysis by scholars, other than Ralph and Coop, doesn't go back beyond the fall of Rome, so maybe there was marriage with Greek and Anatolian women during the diaspora during the Classical Era. I don't know. Perhaps with all the new IBD tools coming out we'll figure it out.

I remember that after the Costa paper came out there was massive criticism based on the fact that the mtDna sequences could easily have been picked up in the Middle East.

We have to remember that the majority of European dna itself came from the Near East in the Neolithic or through the steppe admixture. Let's also not forget there are few unequivocally European hunter/gatherer west or east lines in modern Europeans. It's very difficult to distinguish without very, very, resolved mtDna data, which is not available for most modern people, or for most ancient samples where the founding mutation occurred. I had my full mitogenome analyzed, and professionally interpreted, and compared to my closest samples in the international compendium, and the closest I could come is that "maybe", "possibly", it branched off from a line in Switzerland, going to Italy, Germany, and the British Isles, sometime, perhaps, from the first millennium to about 400 AD. So, you can see the difficulties.

Or, it could have been picked up in the "Greek" cities of Anatolia or the Greek islands.

I'm not sure if this is the last paper on Ashkenazi genetics to come out, but it's pretty recent, and we've discussed all the papers here, including the Xue et al papers. I don't think anything new has come out which would drastically change the analysis, except that the Philistines are out as a source of the admixture. We wound up just spinning our wheels, which is why I gave up on it.

Last Xue paper:

Second Xue paper:

It should be clear they're not sure, either, and when the researchers aren't sure and they say we need ancient dna, I get bored endlessly speculating.

If there's a more recent major paper, just look it up in the search engine. I'm pretty sure we would have discussed it.
Thank you for the explanations and links!

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