The diverse genetic origins of a Classical period Greek army

@Salento,

I think I speak for everyone when I say, we would really love to have these samples for vahaduo when they're available. You're the man with the magic to make it happen.

ENA Browser (ebi.ac.uk)

Thanks Jovialis, I'll take a shot at it :)
 
The daunian paper and the Lazaridis et al 2017 paper show different on their PCAs. Regardless, these people were minoan-like which is the point I was making. As stated in the supplement.

Another Dodecad K12b PCA with Minoans, Mycenaeans and Sicilians.

WGbnFvW.png


MBA and LBA Sicilians have ancestry from the east when compared to their Neolithic counterparts, but to say they were Minoan-like may be an exaggeration IMO.

Code:
GRC_Minoan,0.46571429,0.0071428571,3.41,0.18285714,36.351429,0.087142857,0.35857143,0.0071428571,13.978571,0.068571429,44.67,0.41571429
GRC_Mycenaean,1.944,0.13533333,1.748,0.25666667,36.256667,8.6553333,0.392,0.28866667,11.627333,0.132,38.042,0.52333333
ITA_Sicily_LBA,0.1,0.13333333,3.3266667,0.23,48.013333,6.9366667,0,0,9.6166667,0.33666667,30.723333,0.58333333
ITA_Sicily_MBA,0,0,3.55,0.3,47.125,4.63,0,0,11.94,0,32.395,0.06

The distances of the Minoans from the Sicilian populations who lived at the same time or somewhat later

Distance to: GRC_Minoan
11.31136609 GRC_Mycenaean
17.08943833 ITA_Sicily_MBA
19.92082189 ITA_Sicily_LBA

are pretty much the same between Campanians and Macedonians or Cypriots.

Distance to: Italian_Campania
11.62245671 Albanian
17.00884182 Macedonian_South
17.00926218 Greek_Cypriot
19.97873119 Macedonian_Polog
 
Another Dodecad K12b PCA with Minoans, Mycenaeans and Sicilians.
WGbnFvW.png

MBA and LBA Sicilians have ancestry from the east when compared to their Neolithic counterparts, but to say they were Minoan-like may be an exaggeration IMO.
Code:
GRC_Minoan,0.46571429,0.0071428571,3.41,0.18285714,36.351429,0.087142857,0.35857143,0.0071428571,13.978571,0.068571429,44.67,0.41571429
GRC_Mycenaean,1.944,0.13533333,1.748,0.25666667,36.256667,8.6553333,0.392,0.28866667,11.627333,0.132,38.042,0.52333333
ITA_Sicily_LBA,0.1,0.13333333,3.3266667,0.23,48.013333,6.9366667,0,0,9.6166667,0.33666667,30.723333,0.58333333
ITA_Sicily_MBA,0,0,3.55,0.3,47.125,4.63,0,0,11.94,0,32.395,0.06
The distances of the Minoans from the Sicilian populations who lived at the same time or somewhat later
Distance to: GRC_Minoan
11.31136609 GRC_Mycenaean
17.08943833 ITA_Sicily_MBA
19.92082189 ITA_Sicily_LBA
are pretty much the same between Campanians and Macedonians or Cypriots.
Distance to: Italian_Campania
11.62245671 Albanian
17.00884182 Macedonian_South
17.00926218 Greek_Cypriot
19.97873119 Macedonian_Polog
I don't think it is an exaggeration, individual minoans are quite distant to each other relatively speaking. But they all form a clade. They also form a clade with the bell beaker from Sicily. Seeing more samples like this is not a surprise, but indeed delightful and vindication of what I and others on the site, and some Italian geneticists have been proposing.
 
One line of evidence for some local genetic continuity is the almost exclusive presence of Y-chromosomal haplogroup G-Z1903 and its derivates among the males (Dataset S6), a lineage already found among Sicilian inhabitants in the Middle Bronze Age (MBA) and LBA (12) and otherwise unreported from any pre- or early historic contexts, including Iberia. One male belongs to haplogroup R-FT40455, which is a specific subtype of haplogroup R-DF27, which could reflect an Iberian source of ancestry, as it is much more common in Iberia from the BA onward than in any other region (19, 56). R-DF27 has also been observed in individuals of the EBA in Sicily (12) and thus could have that persisted to the time of the Sicani culture. We find overall low levels of runs of homozygosity among the Sicily_IA and preceding BA individuals (SI Appendix, Fig. S14 and Table S18), providing no evidence for endogamous practices and pointing toward large effective population sizes (57)....."

Purely self-interested comment, but I'm glad to see G-Z1903 prominent among the Sicani
 
This seems to prove that Sicani, unlike Sicels and maybe Elymnians, didn't mix much with the proto-italic peoples descending the peninsula and were still quite similar to their medium bronze age predecessors. It will be interesting to compare them with Sicel and Elymnian samples.

On the other hand it confirms that Iron age greek were similar to bronze age Mycenaeans.
 
this was posted in anthrogenica i think they are
all the ancient greek y dna we have at the moment ;)
the L2 y haplogroup in himera greeks is fascinating
https://www.yfull.com/tree/L-L595/





Iberia_Northeast_Empuries2 I8208 J-Z1846 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean I9041 J-Z6057 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Attica_BA I16709 J-Y14434 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Kastrouli_BA I13577 G-Z7016 G2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Kastrouli_BA I13579 J-Y14434 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Palace_of_Nestor_BA I13517_d G-Z6494 G2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Palace_of_Nestor_BA I13518 R-PF7563 R1b

GRC_Mycenaean_Palace_of_Nestor_BA I19364 R-M269 R1b

GRC_Kastrouli_Anc I17962 T-S27463 T1a

GRC_Marathon_Rom I7833 T-CTS3767 T1a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I10945 J-Y151557* J2a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7217 L-L595* L2

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I10948 R-Y13200* R1b

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7218 T-S27463* T1a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I10952 J-Z7706* J2a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7221 G-Z42565* G2a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7219 G-PF3346* G2a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I7224 T-S27463* T1a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I7225 R-L2* R1b

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I7223 J-FGC45722* J2a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I17866 J-Z35779 J2a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I17884 L-L595 L2
 
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I don't think it is an exaggeration, individual minoans are quite distant to each other relatively speaking. But they all form a clade. They also form a clade with the bell beaker from Sicily. Seeing more samples like this is not a surprise, but indeed delightful and vindication of what I and others on the site, and some Italian geneticists have been proposing.

Still with the averages with some people.

Look at the Minoan samples. There's too much variation to use an average. It leads to false conclusions.
 
This seems to prove that Sicani, unlike Sicels and maybe Elymnians, didn't mix much with the proto-italic peoples descending the peninsula and were still quite similar to their medium bronze age predecessors. It will be interesting to compare them with Sicel and Elymnian samples.

On the other hand it confirms that Iron age greek were similar to bronze age Mycenaeans.

The Sicani have been variously claimed to be indigenous, i.e. Neolithic farmer like, which doesn't seem to be the case, from Iberia, Illyrians from the Balkans, or from the Italian mainland. In the latter case they might then be somewhat similar to Italics or at least perhaps to Ligurians, although perhaps with less steppe because of admixture with a large Neolithic population in Sicily.

The authors make a point of the high population sizes for Sicily indicated by the results.

Once we have the actual samples it will be interesting to see which is closer to the truth.
 
this was posted in anthrogenica i think they are
all the ancient greek y dna we have at the moment ;)
the L2 y haplogroup in himera greeks is fascinating
https://www.yfull.com/tree/L-L595/





Iberia_Northeast_Empuries2 I8208 J-Z1846 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean I9041 J-Z6057 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Attica_BA I16709 J-Y14434 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Kastrouli_BA I13577 G-Z7016 G2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Kastrouli_BA I13579 J-Y14434 J2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Palace_of_Nestor_BA I13517_d G-Z6494 G2a

GRC_Mycenaean_Palace_of_Nestor_BA I13518 R-PF7563 R1b

GRC_Mycenaean_Palace_of_Nestor_BA I19364 R-M269 R1b

GRC_Kastrouli_Anc I17962 T-S27463 T1a

GRC_Marathon_Rom I7833 T-CTS3767 T1a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I10945 J-Y151557* J2a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7217 L-L595* L2

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I10948 R-Y13200* R1b

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7218 T-S27463* T1a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I10952 J-Z7706* J2a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7221 G-Z42565* G2a

Sicily_Himera_480BCE_1 I7219 G-PF3346* G2a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I7224 T-S27463* T1a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I7225 R-L2* R1b

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I7223 J-FGC45722* J2a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I17866 J-Z35779 J2a

Sicily_Himera_409BCE I17884 L-L595 L2

Two of the Himera soldiers plot near northern Italians in the PCA. If he's one of them it would make complete sense.

In this case Wiki doesn't do a bad job in terms of the history.

"[h=3]The Sicilian Greek army[edit][/h]Gelo and Theron had a well trained, battle tested army at their disposal. In addition to citizens, hired mercenaries from Greeks and Sicels augmented their forces. Gelon took out a loan from citizens to fund his war efforts, which indicates the seriousness of the situation. The Syracusan army at Himera is said to have numbered 50,000 foot and 5,000 horse – perhaps another exaggeration.[26] The size of the army of Theron is not known. The main hoplite force came from the citizens of the Sicilian Greek cities. They were augmented by mercenary hoplites hired from Sicily and Italy, and even mainland Greece. Some of the citizens also served as peltasts while the wealthier citizens formed the cavalry units. Sicels and Sikan soldiers also served in the force. Mercenaries provided archers, slingers and cavalry."


 
Look at the Minoan samples. There's too much variation to use an average. It leads to false conclusions.

Ok, but the very claim that LBA Sicilians are Minoan-like is a generalization just as averages are.

They also form a clade with the bell beaker from Sicily.

I4930 is abismally low coverage sample (40,174 out of 1,150,639 SNPs hit on autosomal targets computed using easystats on 1240k snpset).

By the way, changing the subject, what amazed me the most in this study is that Baltic-like sample. How in the world did it end up in Sicily? XD
 
Low-coverage or not, we can see explicitly in the supplement that there were indeed Minoan-like people in Sicily, including Mycenaean people. Besides Mycenaeans were 9/10ths Minoan.

Once we have the samples in hand, we will see what they look like. But if the supplement says some of the people are like Minoans, I don't see how you can say it is exaggerated on any basis.
 
I don't find it so surprising. There had been trade routes from the Baltic to Southern Europe from time immemorial, starting with the amber trade. The Rus utilized it heavily to trade not only amber, but furs, wood, etc. with Constantinople.

Someone highlighted the Bronze Age Dnieper route to the Caucasus in red, but the other ones in black lead to Italy and to Greece through the Balkans.

168496d97de7ded8cb41cce60f94e6ff.jpg


Another one:


e92d45a067893ee104d11a22e80af5a2--baltic-amber-routes.jpg


Mass migrations don't happen very often, but individuals could, and did, travel long distances in the distant past.
 
I think the natives of Calabria will be high in G too and form a tail from Sicilians to Italic Campanians and Duanians which are more Latin-like compared to Sicanians. I believe most G in Italy is native but some clades are Greek.

Modern Sicilians have higher R1b than G and they identical with mainland Italians so probably lots of geneflow from mainland Italic people.
 
Remarkable sweep of "G" in the Sicani. Shows up in Himera samples as well, so perhaps a sign of absorption into the polis.

Sicanians are not radically different from Classical Greeks. And some Classical Greeks were naturally more Minoan-like/Anatolia Neolithic than the rest. So it's hard to tell if those samples that are shifted towards IA Sicily if they actually have some Sician admixture if they are just a part of genetic variation which existed back then.
 
Sicanians are not radically different from Classical Greeks. And some Classical Greeks were naturally more Minoan-like/Anatolia Neolithic than the rest. So it's hard to tell if those samples that are shifted towards IA Sicily if they actually have some Sician admixture if they are just a part of genetic variation which existed back then.

Could you point me to where in the paper or the Supplement it says the Sicanians were similar to Classical Greeks? That wouldn't square with any of the speculated origins for them, certainly not with them coming from Iberia or even, I would think, from the more northern Balkans.

I haven't had a chance to comb through everything yet.
 
Could you point me to where in the paper or the Supplement it says the Sicanians were similar to Classical Greeks? That wouldn't square with any of the speculated origins for them, certainly not with them coming from Iberia or even, I would think, from the more northern Balkans.

I haven't had a chance to comb through everything yet.
Look at the orange mark I made.
I said they are not radically different not necessarily very similar. But some of them are pretty similar though. I am not sure if those individuals in the orange mark are simply similar or have mixed ancestry. Because some Ancient Greeks themselves were more Anatolian Neolithic admixed than the rest.

HTYLjSX_d.webp
 
Here is the strontium isotope paper on the soldiers of Himera.

Isotopic evidence for geographic heterogeneity in Ancient Greek military forces - PMC (nih.gov)

I don't find it particularly well-written, and some of the conclusions are questionable, imo.

"Individuals from the 480 BCE mass graves exhibit average 87Sr/86Sr = 0.709257 ± 0.00058 and are significantly different from the general populace (Mann Whitney U: W = 1033, p-value = 1.3x10-5). Sixty-seven percent of the 480 BCE individuals are outside the local Sr range suggesting non-local origin. Most of the non-local individuals exhibit 87Sr/86Sr values higher than the local baselines for Himera, Agrigento, and Syracuse."

They later go on to say that means beyond Sicily.

First of all, if you're going to say a big percentage of the warriors came from beyond Sicily, you should have data for places in Sicily beyond Himera, Agrigento and Siracusa. More inland regions might come closer perhaps, although I'm no expert in strontium isotope analysis.

Second of all, it would seem to me that there might have been soldiers from Greek colonies in Calabria, Campania, Puglia, the Greek mainland or islands or Ionian colonies from western Anatolia, who while not locals, would have been, perhaps, on a different footing than someone from the Baltics acting as a bodyguard for one of the Tyrants.

The authors themselves seem to recognize this:
"The comparatively high 87Sr/86Sr values of non-local soldiers point to regions with more ancient underlying rock formations; similarly high 87Sr/86Sr values are seen in the very ancient Paleozoic granites of the Central Cyclades in the Aegean or the Triassic sandstones and Paleozoic metamorphic rocks along the Catalan Coastal Range in the north-east Iberian peninsula."

So, did Iberians fight as mercenaries not only for the Carthaginians, but for the Greeks as well? I wonder if they bothered to check Liguria?

"The comparatively low δ18O values of non-local soldiers suggest they originated from regions located further inland, at higher elevations, or at higher latitudes than Sicily. Similarly low values have been reported for Ephesus, Thebes, and Apollonia along the Black Sea [47, 54]."

" What is less clear, in part because of their omission by Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, is whether Sicilian Greek tyrants hired non-Greek mercenaries to fight alongside citizen armies. Literary sources suggest Hippocrates of Gela hired indigenous Sicels (i.e. Sikels) for his army (Polyaen 5:6). Gelon hired Greek mercenaries from Arcadia after succeeding Hippocrates as tyrant of Gela in the 5th century BCE [13, 69]."

These men were allowed to become citizens of the polis.

As to the non-soldiers, "Sixteen percent of the individuals representing the general populace are estimated to be non-local to Himera."

They conclude by saying:

"
Further baseline sampling across Sicily and mainland Greece is warranted to confirm this departure of the bioarchaeological evidence from ancient literary sources.

Yeah, I'd say so, and they should add Southern Italy as well.

The 409 B.C. results are different, which makes sense because Himera fought alone:

"
The 11 individuals from the 409 BCE mass graves exhibit a mean 87Sr/86Sr value of 0.70884±0.00012. Their strontium values are not significantly different from the general populace (W = 280, p-value = 0.01621). One individual (9% of sample) falls outside the local 87Sr/86Sr range."

This is the analysis per sample. I don't know yet if the samples in the two papers have the same numbers.
Table - PMC (nih.gov)



 
The paper says "Testing a wide range of possible BA and IA sources with qpAdm, valid models of ancestry consist of mixtures of one source related to central or eastern Mediterranean groups (Sicilian, Aegean, or Balkan) and one source related to central or western European groups (France, Spain, Czechia, or Hungary). A genetic origin in the Balkans is suggested by their Y chromosomes, belonging to the E-V13 lineage, which has its highest modern-day frequency in that region"


Very possibly there is some Thracian ancestry here

I find very blurry the grouping "central or western European groups" !!! Not exactly the same profile.
 
I'm going to comb it as soon as possible. :)

I just love how ancient dna can blow up the tainted, biased theories of the various amateur blow-hards in this field.

I think we can put to rest the idea that the ancient Greeks, Mycenaean and Minoan like, had no impact on Sicily and Southern Italy.

Likewise, I think we can put to rest the idea that somehow the Classical Greeks had become more "northern" than the Mycenaens and Minoans. It's a remarkable persistence of a genetic type for 1000 years.

Exactly Angela. Contrary to what many thought (we already know who these "many" are), it is the present-day mainland Greeks that are more "northern" than the classic ones. :)
 

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