Genetic study Population changes in northern Italy from the Iron Age to Modern Times

Relevant to the topic of the thread:

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Thanks for posting this thesis, Francesco. Does anyone have access to the full PDF?

From the abstract it reads such that the Etruscans of Felsina had a distinct local profile with a couple of C./N. European like outlier samples which seem to have unexpectedly and drastically reduced in number by and during the 4th century BC Gallic migration era in favor of local ancestry. Some sort of influx of ancestry on the aegean/caucasian continuum seemed to also occur during the roman imperial era, but the wording is less clear.

In my opinion this lends much credence to the idea that the Gallic migrations were not significant in scope or impact on the local Italian genepool. Aegean influence seems to have played a much larger part and remains the main driving factor between changes seen from central/southern Iron age Italics and to moderns.
 
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emu4la.png


Thanks for posting this thesis, Francesco. Does anyone have access to the full PDF?

From the abstract it reads such that the Etruscans of Felsina had a distinct local profile with a couple of C./N. European like outlier samples which seem to have unexpectedly and drastically reduced in number by and during the 4th century BC Gallic migration era in favor of local ancestry. Some sort of influx of ancestry on the aegean/caucasian continuum seemed to also occur during the roman imperial era, but the wording is less clear.

In my opinion this lends much credence to the idea that the Gallic migrations were not significant in scope or impact on the local Italian genepool. Aegean influence seems to have played a much larger part and remains the main driving factor between changes seen from central/southern Iron age Italics and to moderns.
Attachment 15456 quoted by Francesco states: "Our results revealed that most northern Etruscan individuals cluster genetically with coeval genomes from Etruria".
 
Attachment 15456 quoted by Francesco states: "Our results revealed that most northern Etruscan individuals cluster genetically with coeval genomes from Etruria".
So in theory they should be at least similar to the more southerly IA Etruscans of Tarquina. It will be interesting to see if this means that there is a direct overlap or if it's a partial overlap, similar to the location of the Picenes.
 
So in theory they should be at least similar to the more southerly IA Etruscans of Tarquina. It will be interesting to see if this means that there is a direct overlap or if it's a partial overlap, similar to the location of the Picenes.
On the Genoplot G25 site my best ancient match is Tarquinia IA @1.85.

At a distance of 1.5782%:


78.4 Italy_TarquiniaMonterozzi_IA.SG

21.0 Italy_TarquiniaMonterozzi_IA_oLevent.SG

0.6 Morocco_Iberomaurusian
 
From the abstract it reads such that the Etruscans of Felsina had a distinct local profile with a couple of C./N. European like outlier samples which seem to have unexpectedly and drastically reduced in number by and during the 4th century BC Gallic migration era in favor of local ancestry.
Who were these C./N. European like outliers in your opinion?

We already know with a good degree of certainty that the aegean/caucasian signal was from people living further south in the peninsula (originally from Greece or Anatolia).
 
Who were these C./N. European like outliers in your opinion?

We already know with a good degree of certainty that the aegean/caucasian signal was from people living further south in the peninsula (originally from Greece or Anatolia).
I would presume Gauls of varying types just based off location, but truth be told that's just a guess. There isn't exactly a protohistoric record of this event, but the abstract/thesis seems to suggest archaeological evidence of material exchange between the two groups. That being said the context of these interactions and the relation between the two groups is totally lost to time from what I can tell.
 
In my opinion this lends much credence to the idea that the Gallic migrations were not significant in scope or impact on the local Italian genepool.


The idea that the Gallic invasions of the fourth century B.C. were numerically small (and therefore could not have had an impact on northern Italy and at a lesser extent on central Italy) was already supported by the archaeological record, particularly for the area right around Bologna. Although there is a common belief that the Gauls of the 4th century B.C. replaced anyone in northern Italy, scholars have not believed this for more than 50 years.

But to be clear, northern Italian contacts with the Celtic world were not only with the Gauls of the 4th century, but were much earlier and in other directions (Hallstatt, La Tene).
 
The idea that the Gallic invasions of the fourth century B.C. were numerically small (and therefore could not have had an impact on northern Italy and at a lesser extent on central Italy) was already supported by the archaeological record, particularly for the area right around Bologna. Although there is a common belief that the Gauls of the 4th century B.C. replaced anyone in northern Italy, scholars have not believed this for more than 50 years.

But to be clear, northern Italian contacts with the Celtic world were not only with the Gauls of the 4th century, but were much earlier and in other directions (Hallstatt, La Tene).
I agree and have rejected the idea that modern northern Italians derive any significant admixture from these invasions, as well as the idea that they were large enough to dwarf the already large Etruscan/Etruscan related populations living in Po valley. Similar to the Germanic Langobards, the invasions did occur but do not appear to be numerically significant. As we've touched upon earlier, in the Gallic case, said populations were also expelled by the Romans as well, which would have further reduced their impact. The Picene study has evidenced for us the beginnings of the truth in that this modern like North Italic profile can at bare minimum be dated to the early iron age about three or four hundred years before these Gallic conquests. More likely we will eventually see N. Italic like dominance in bronze age po valley, too, but we will have to wait for more studies on that for confirmation.

In my opinon, the last significant transalpine genetic interactions that occurred in northern Italy probably ended with Polada, whose material culture seems to be broadly shared between parts of hungary and austria and perhaps small introgressions via 13th century Canegrate. If there was ever was a hybrid italo-celtic language at any point those two are probably anyone's best bet in trying to locate it. Canegrate lasted only about a century before being absorbed into the larger Golaseccan/Lepontic populations and it's very likely that it also did not represent a numerically significant population. Terramare by comparison seems more disconnected from proto celtic material cultures (although not isolated) and more numerically dominant compared to Polada. To me this was likely the main genetic contributor and the basis of this N. Italic profile.
 
It's very possible that Celts of any sort have been expelled by the Roman state later but I doubt they have'nt left some remnants in the N-Italy genomic pole, even if this contrbution has been strongly lightened. And I doubt there have not been some slight introgressions later of other central European pops. All that cumulated has surely played some role concerning N-Italy genes pole.
 
It's very possible that Celts of any sort have been expelled by the Roman state later but I doubt they have'nt left some remnants in the N-Italy genomic pole, even if this contrbution has been strongly lightened. And I doubt there have not been some slight introgressions later of other central European pops. All that cumulated has surely played some role concerning N-Italy genes pole.
I think the urban graveyard effect typically reduces genetic variability over time at the exclusion of foreign elements which is what we seem to be seeing with this study and many others in contrast to the cumulative effect theory. Effectively without a substantial colonization to drastically displace the preexisting population, smaller past introgressions seem to progressively disappear in the genetic record.

We see this also with Punic elements of North African ancestry that were much more prominent in iron and roman age Sardinia which seem to no longer remain. Unaffected rural populations seem to furnish higher fertility rates which slowly push out foreign admixture from occupiers who tend to inhabit more urbanized and wealthy cities to manage their tax base.

Based of the Picenes IA samples, I don't believe the modern Northern Italic profile has been modified by Central Euro populations and I remain questioning if most modern northern Italians even have any Aegean/Southern Italian like ancestry from the Roman era. The Felsina study of the thread topic claims a CHG related shift during this time but similar to what is seen in Tuscany/Latium, over time we necessarily see a shift back towards this robust IA Picene profile. To me this tells a story of continual and long standing local resurgance rather than transalpine influence.

epd3e4.jpg
 
I think the urban graveyard effect typically reduces genetic variability over time at the exclusion of foreign elements which is what we seem to be seeing with this study and many others in contrast to the cumulative effect theory. Effectively without a substantial colonization to drastically displace the preexisting population, smaller past introgressions seem to progressively disappear in the genetic record.

We see this also with Punic elements of North African ancestry that were much more prominent in iron and roman age Sardinia which seem to no longer remain. Unaffected rural populations seem to furnish higher fertility rates which slowly push out foreign admixture from occupiers who tend to inhabit more urbanized and wealthy cities to manage their tax base.

Based of the Picenes IA samples, I don't believe the modern Northern Italic profile has been modified by Central Euro populations and I remain questioning if most modern northern Italians even have any Aegean/Southern Italian like ancestry from the Roman era. The Felsina study of the thread topic claims a CHG related shift during this time but similar to what is seen in Tuscany/Latium, over time we necessarily see a shift back towards this robust IA Picene profile. To me this tells a story of continual and long standing local resurgance rather than transalpine influence.

epd3e4.jpg
So, the North Italic profile is more Picene-like than Etruscan-like?
 
I agree and have rejected the idea that modern northern Italians derive any significant admixture from these invasions, as well as the idea that they were large enough to dwarf the already large Etruscan/Etruscan related populations living in Po valley.
I agree and have rejected the idea that modern northern Italians derive any significant admixture from these invasions, as well as the idea that they were large enough to dwarf the already large Etruscan/Etruscan related populations living in Po valley. Similar to the Germanic Langobards, the invasions did occur but do not appear to be numerically significant. As we've touched upon earlier, in the Gallic case, said populations were also expelled by the Romans as well, which would have further reduced their impact. The Picene study has evidenced for us the beginnings of the truth in that this modern like North Italic profile can at bare minimum be dated to the early iron age about three or four hundred years before these Gallic conquests. More likely we will eventually see N. Italic like dominance in bronze age po valley, too, but we will have to wait for more studies on that for confirmation.

In my opinon, the last significant transalpine genetic interactions that occurred in northern Italy probably ended with Polada, whose material culture seems to be broadly shared between parts of hungary and austria and perhaps small introgressions via 13th century Canegrate. If there was ever was a hybrid italo-celtic language at any point those two are probably anyone's best bet in trying to locate it. Canegrate lasted only about a century before being absorbed into the larger Golaseccan/Lepontic populations and it's very likely that it also did not represent a numerically significant population. Terramare by comparison seems more disconnected from proto celtic material cultures (although not isolated) and more numerically dominant compared to Polada. To me this was likely the main genetic contributor and the basis of this N. Italic profile.

The Celts are a complicated ethnic group, more complicated than we think, because they were the people who covered the largest territories in Europe, which today belong to completely different nations in northern, central and southern Europe. There is no evidence that they were genetically homogeneous, not only in autosomal markers, but also in uniparental markers.

When we speak of Celts in northern Italy we must distinguish between the Gauls-Celts of the fourth century B.C., who originally had a central-northern European profile and arrived already ethnically formed from outside Italy, from earlier ones (Golasecca cultures, Celto-Ligurians, the many Celts who had contact with the Rhaetic world, the Veneto world, and so on), of whom no genetic data are available, and about whom there is still an ongoing debate. It is possible that, as in the case of Spain with the Celto-Iberians, they all had a genetic profile more similar to that of southern-western Europe than to that from central Europe. Not to mention that then many will have been transitional. There was a recent study of Gauls in France, and if I remember correctly the southern French samples had a more southern European profile. In any case, it was the fourth-century Gauls who were never in such numbers that they could completely replace the local population of northern Italy. There is archaeological evidence that in some cases Gauls mingled with the local population (Monte Bibele, a small village in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, evidence of children buried with double dowry, Celtic and Etruscan, as if they had been born of mixed couples), while in Bologna, at the height of Gallic domination of the city their burials are at a ratio of 1 to 7 to Etruscan ones.

On the rest I have nothing to say. I still struggle to understand what the northern Italic profile is, and I have some doubts about whether Picenes, because of their known relations with the Balkans (relations to which the fact that they were Italic is not attributed) represented a proxy for all Osco-Umbrian speaking people. Maybe I am wrong, but I am in no hurry, and I prefer to wait for the studies.
 
So, the North Italic profile is more Picene-like than Etruscan-like?
More Picene-like than the Etruscans that have been reported on so far, yes. Northern Etruscans in Po valley remain to be seen until this study comes out in full. In my opinion it's very possible Felsina could also be Picene-like or perhaps somewhere between Picene like and the Etruscans of Tarquina. This is an open question, but both of these groups are closely related nonetheless. We also still need some concrete data on the autosomal norms of the Raetics which can be thought of as a northern group of Etruscans.
 
The Celts are a complicated ethnic group, more complicated than we think, because they were the people who covered the largest territories in Europe, which today belong to completely different nations in northern, central and southern Europe. There is no evidence that they were genetically homogeneous, not only in autosomal markers, but also in uniparental markers.

When we speak of Celts in northern Italy we must distinguish between the Gauls-Celts of the fourth century B.C., who originally had a central-northern European profile and arrived already ethnically formed from outside Italy, from earlier ones (Golasecca cultures, Celto-Ligurians, the many Celts who had contact with the Rhaetic world, the Veneto world, and so on), of whom no genetic data are available, and about whom there is still an ongoing debate. It is possible that, as in the case of Spain with the Celto-Iberians, they all had a genetic profile more similar to that of southern-western Europe than to that from central Europe. Not to mention that then many will have been transitional. There was a recent study of Gauls in France, and if I remember correctly the southern French samples had a more southern European profile. In any case, it was the fourth-century Gauls who were never in such numbers that they could completely replace the local population of northern Italy. There is archaeological evidence that in some cases Gauls mingled with the local population (Monte Bibele, a small village in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, evidence of children buried with double dowry, Celtic and Etruscan, as if they had been born of mixed couples), while in Bologna, at the height of Gallic domination of the city their burials are at a ratio of 1 to 7 to Etruscan ones.

On the rest I have nothing to say. I still struggle to understand what the northern Italic profile is, and I have some doubts about whether Picenes, because of their known relations with the Balkans (relations to which the fact that they were Italic is not attributed) represented a proxy for all Osco-Umbrian speaking people. Maybe I am wrong, but I am in no hurry, and I prefer to wait for the studies.
Yes, the Celts certainly were not as singular of an entity as many have assumed them to be. I don't disagree with you here. That being said I have qualms about the association of a supposed monoethnic Celtic identity with the Golaseccan/Lepontic peoples on the basis of fragmentary language reconstructions such as what LeJuene proposed. I think that given the very scattered and unreliable examples of writing we see in preroman northern Italy, these suppositions, which are presented in a matter of fact sort of format are very doubtful and built on shakey grounds. That is not to say there has been no influence from bronze aged transalpine cultures here but I don't really accept the identification of these scarcely understood people as simply "Celts" at this stage. It is quite possible in my mind, that similar to the situation that Livy and Pliny described pretaining to the Raeti, these tribes represent an older group of barbarized Italics who had absorbed considerable cultural influence from transalpine nations in the bronze age via events such as Canegrate movements, or simply through trade and mutual cultural interactions. I like to keep in mind what the ancient authors had to say about all of the ancient alpine tribes of northern Italy (excluding the venetics) springing from a single source and sharing the same blood and ethnic origin as the Etruscans. This to me tells the opposite of what linguists are saying. We should also not forget that these groups were indeed still included in Roman Italy as full citizens no different than the Etruscans/Raetics themselves by Lex Rosica on behalf of Julius Caesar. Clearly there was an interepretation and understanding of meaningful Italian identification with these groups. From my readings Greek authors seem to make the same type of distinction, such as that between the transalpine Celto-Ligures found in modern france in comparison to the identification of the autocthonous cisalpine Ligures of Italy.

On the Picenes, I certainly don't believe they are necessarily proxy for all Osco-Umbrian speakers, but more instead for Po Valley and the surrounding alps. I simply think their geographical location is indicative of a shifting genetic cline in IA Italy. From my perspective it is a simple north/south cline with higher steppe influence as we go north and increasing WHG + Barcin (neolithic Northern/Central Italian) as we enter central Italy. Of course I don't profess to have a crystal ball or all the answers. I could always be mistaken on some of these points as more data comes out. This is just what I'm seeing so far as a pattern.
 
Yes, the Celts certainly were not as singular of an entity as many have assumed them to be. I don't disagree with you here. That being said I have qualms about the association of a supposed monoethnic Celtic identity with the Golaseccan/Lepontic peoples on the basis of fragmentary language reconstructions such as what LeJuene proposed. I think that given the very scattered and unreliable examples of writing we see in preroman northern Italy, these suppositions, which are presented in a matter of fact sort of format are very doubtful and built on shakey grounds. That is not to say there has been no influence from bronze aged transalpine cultures here but I don't really accept the identification of these scarcely understood people as simply "Celts" at this stage. It is quite possible in my mind, that similar to the situation that Livy and Pliny described pretaining to the Raeti, these tribes represent an older group of barbarized Italics who had absorbed considerable cultural influence from transalpine nations in the bronze age via events such as Canegrate movements, or simply through trade and mutual cultural interactions. I like to keep in mind what the ancient authors had to say about all of the ancient alpine tribes of northern Italy (excluding the venetics) springing from a single source and sharing the same blood and ethnic origin as the Etruscans. This to me tells the opposite of what linguists are saying. We should also not forget that these groups were indeed still included in Roman Italy as full citizens no different than the Etruscans/Raetics themselves by Lex Rosica on behalf of Julius Caesar. Clearly there was an interepretation and understanding of meaningful Italian identification with these groups. From my readings Greek authors seem to make the same type of distinction, such as that between the transalpine Celto-Ligures found in modern france in comparison to the identification of the autocthonous cisalpine Ligures of Italy.

On the Picenes, I certainly don't believe they are necessarily proxy for all Osco-Umbrian speakers, but more instead for Po Valley and the surrounding alps. I simply think their geographical location is indicative of a shifting genetic cline in IA Italy. From my perspective it is a simple north/south cline with higher steppe influence as we go north and increasing WHG + Barcin (neolithic Northern/Central Italian) as we enter central Italy. Of course I don't profess to have a crystal ball or all the answers. I could always be mistaken on some of these points as more data comes out. This is just what I'm seeing so far as a pattern.
So, basically the biggest differences between North Italics and IA Central Italy is that North Italics have more Steppe and less WHG?
 
Discussed in Trento in late 2023, likely to be published soon.


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I'm grateful that we're looking at as many as 200 samples but also somewhat disappointed that they don't cover the Middle Bronze Age to the Final Bronze Age. A lot of large archaeological shifts occur within said time frame. Thanks for posting.
 
The Celts are a complicated ethnic group, more complicated than we think, because they were the people who covered the largest territories in Europe, which today belong to completely different nations in northern, central and southern Europe. There is no evidence that they were genetically homogeneous, not only in autosomal markers, but also in uniparental markers.

When we speak of Celts in northern Italy we must distinguish between the Gauls-Celts of the fourth century B.C., who originally had a central-northern European profile and arrived already ethnically formed from outside Italy, from earlier ones (Golasecca cultures, Celto-Ligurians, the many Celts who had contact with the Rhaetic world, the Veneto world, and so on), of whom no genetic data are available, and about whom there is still an ongoing debate. It is possible that, as in the case of Spain with the Celto-Iberians, they all had a genetic profile more similar to that of southern-western Europe than to that from central Europe. Not to mention that then many will have been transitional. There was a recent study of Gauls in France, and if I remember correctly the southern French samples had a more southern European profile. In any case, it was the fourth-century Gauls who were never in such numbers that they could completely replace the local population of northern Italy. There is archaeological evidence that in some cases Gauls mingled with the local population (Monte Bibele, a small village in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, evidence of children buried with double dowry, Celtic and Etruscan, as if they had been born of mixed couples), while in Bologna, at the height of Gallic domination of the city their burials are at a ratio of 1 to 7 to Etruscan ones.

On the rest I have nothing to say. I still struggle to understand what the northern Italic profile is, and I have some doubts about whether Picenes, because of their known relations with the Balkans (relations to which the fact that they were Italic is not attributed) represented a proxy for all Osco-Umbrian speaking people. Maybe I am wrong, but I am in no hurry, and I prefer to wait for the studies.
The question is the First Celts were (I think) more 'northern' than theLaTène ones! More on the Germany BB means of auDNA. But even the IA Celts of the Marsilia region were 'northern' and 'steppe' enough (7: Steppic: 37% - WHG: 13% - EEF: 50%)
 
The question is the First Celts were (I think) more 'northern' than theLaTène ones! More on the Germany BB means of auDNA. But even the IA Celts of the Marsilia region were 'northern' and 'steppe' enough (7: Steppic: 37% - WHG: 13% - EEF: 50%)
Well, 37pc is not much more Steppe than various G25 calculators give me... although my WHG level is down at 4 to 5pc.
 

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