The Picenes and the Genetic Landscape of Central Adriatic Italy in the Iron Age.

From the abstract book page 227
Thanks for starting this thread, Robotnick.

The abstract is indicating modern-like northern Italian genomes for the Picenes as they are detecting further balkan IA ancestry than what was found with the Etruscans, despite having "no major differences". This should come as no surprise. The IA Etruscans/IA latins very clearly form a cline with northern Italy, both ancient and modern. There are no major genetic differences between the two as the abstract states but the cline is obvious and real. The dating here is important too, as these samples are from the 8th-7th century BC, ergo, prior to any Gallic invasions. At bare minimum we should expect iron age Veneto, Istra, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Etruscans of IA Emilia Romagna to bear the same type of profile. More probably you will see it widespread throughout all of northern Italy and the prealps as well.
 
Thanks for starting this thread, Robotnick.

The abstract is indicating modern-like northern Italian genomes for the Picenes as they are detecting further balkan IA ancestry than what was found with the Etruscans, despite having "no major differences". This should come as no surprise. The IA Etruscans/IA latins very clearly form a cline with northern Italy, both ancient and modern. There are no major genetic differences between the two as the abstract states but the cline is obvious and real. The dating here is important too, as these samples are from the 8th-7th century BC, ergo, prior to any Gallic invasions. At bare minimum we should expect iron age Veneto, Istra, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Etruscans of IA Emilia Romagna to bear the same type of profile. More probably you will see it widespread throughout all of northern Italy and the prealps as well.
The Picenes where heavily colonised by Liburnians for over 500 years ( until 440BC ), places and towns like Martinscuro, Tronto and other towns
 
Thanks for starting this thread, Robotnick.

The abstract is indicating modern-like northern Italian genomes for the Picenes as they are detecting further balkan IA ancestry than what was found with the Etruscans, despite having "no major differences". This should come as no surprise. The IA Etruscans/IA latins very clearly form a cline with northern Italy, both ancient and modern. There are no major genetic differences between the two as the abstract states but the cline is obvious and real. The dating here is important too, as these samples are from the 8th-7th century BC, ergo, prior to any Gallic invasions. At bare minimum we should expect iron age Veneto, Istra, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Etruscans of IA Emilia Romagna to bear the same type of profile. More probably you will see it widespread throughout all of northern Italy and the prealps as well.
In fact , "Gallic" cultures were found since the early iron age.
Gollaseca and Cagrenate were both Celtics. I doubt any sort of Massive repopulation with Bellovesus invasion.
The area was already highly populated by Etruscan like civilizations on Po's Valley

The drift towards Balkan IA was cause by Eastern Med like DNA, probably Aegean, meaning Anatolian influences, as the Greeks only went to Italy after Dark Ages.
 
The drift towards Balkan IA was cause by Eastern Med like DNA, probably Aegean, meaning Anatolian influences, as the Greeks only went to Italy after Dark Ages.
I sincerely doubt that the Balkan IA influences the abstract refers to is to be interpreted as an Aegean input, but rather as actual contact with Balkan populations. These contacts could also have happened even before the proto-italic tribes settled in Italy.

However, direct aegean contact in the Adriatic coast wouldn't be too much strange, since some greek colonies were present in the region, just not as many as in the south and were generally founded in a later period (end of the classical age, like Ancona).

We just have to wait for the paper to be published.
 
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In fact , "Gallic" cultures were found since the early iron age.
Gollaseca and Cagrenate were both Celtics. I doubt any sort of Massive repopulation with Bellovesus invasion.
The area was already highly populated by Etruscan like civilizations on Po's Valley

The claimed Celticity of these peoples is highly speculative and based primarily off of scant evidence such as modern language reconstructions. In reality the Golaseccan material culture points towards stronger connections to the Venetic (Esta) and Etruscan (Villanovan) peoples more so than gauls. You should check out this paper on the topic:


"These goods show the existence of substantial relations between Como and Bologna and Etruria proper, in particular Vetulonia, and an ongoing socio-economic differentiation, stimulated by the intensification of long-distance traffic."

"The Como district played a secondary role in the leadership for the management of exchanges and relations with the Etruscan world, but closer ties were established with the Venetic people"

They go into further detail in reference to goods found at least as far back as the 8th century BC which showed very close relations with the Etruscans. I agree with you in that I doubt the Transalpine migrations which occurred in 390 happened in large numbers and the Romans did expel these same Transalpine gauls from Italy just 200 years later. A permanence of Gallic like DNA in this region is doubtful for this reason. Ancient sources are very clear that the Etruscans were the native inhabitants of the Po, even all the way up to Ticino. This, combined with the preexisting material evidence which confirms these accounts leads me to believe these Golaseccans will be likely similar to Etruscans/Venetics.

The drift towards Balkan IA was cause by Eastern Med like DNA, probably Aegean, meaning Anatolian influences, as the Greeks only went to Italy after Dark Ages.

Because they reference "Northern, Balkan-like" ancestry, I don't believe they're speaking of Greek/Anatolian influence. This to me points more towards Croatia IA influence as what they're describing. They also seem to specify the Adriatic instead of the Aegean as far as the source of this ancestry.
 
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The Picenes where heavily colonised by Liburnians for over 500 years ( until 440BC ), places and towns like Martinscuro, Tronto and other towns
Do you have any studies on this? I'd like to read of it if so. To me these people have been functionally of the same genetic background since the bronze age so it will be very difficult to tell with adna.
 
Does it seem far-fetched that Osco-Umbrian populations in general already gained a bit of Balkan-like admixture before entrance into Italy? The Pannonian plain during the Bronze Age appeared to be something of a fusion zone between Eastern Bell Beaker L2 and Daco-Illyrian J2b-L283, R1b-Z2103 and the like. Further (hostile) waves of the latter could have eventually driven them out and prompted their migration into Italy by the LBA.
 
Does it seem far-fetched that Osco-Umbrian populations in general already gained a bit of Balkan-like admixture before entrance into Italy? The Pannonian plain during the Bronze Age appeared to be something of a fusion zone between Eastern Bell Beaker L2 and Daco-Illyrian J2b-L283, R1b-Z2103 and the like. Further (hostile) waves of the latter could have eventually driven them out and prompted their migration into Italy by the LBA.
Not at all. Central and Northern Italy will simply be a cline of northern BA balkan ancestry as I see it. Even the south will have some significant sums of it in tandem with increasing Aegean ancestry.

Pannonia very clearly had a significant Caucasian ancestry pull transmitted from Anatolia during this time period, which is part of what separates the southern route of steppe migrations westward from more northerly corded ware types. I think it's fair to say that southern europe was experiencing two pulls of ancestry during this period: one from Anatolia and one from the steppe. Because of this we should expect other northern and central Italians to look the part.
 
Not at all. Central and Northern Italy will simply be a cline of northern BA balkan ancestry as I see it. Even the south will have some significant sums of it in tandem with increasing Aegean ancestry.

Pannonia very clearly had a significant Caucasian ancestry pull transmitted from Anatolia during this time period, which is part of what separates the southern route of steppe migrations westward from more northerly corded ware types. I think it's fair to say that southern europe was experiencing two pulls of ancestry during this period: one from Anatolia and one from the steppe. Because of this we should expect other northern and central Italians to look the part.

In my opinion you are oversimplifying a lot based on a wrong reading of the genetic position of Northern Balkans BA.

Have you seen what are the most common uniparental markers in Northern Balkan BA?

As we know there are many Iron and Bronze Age samples missing from many areas of Italy, we can only wait for the studies to be published, but R1b P312, R1b P311, R1b U152, R1b U52-L2, G2a-L497... are hardly markers related to the Balkans.
 
Does it seem far-fetched that Osco-Umbrian populations in general already gained a bit of Balkan-like admixture before entrance into Italy? The Pannonian plain during the Bronze Age appeared to be something of a fusion zone between Eastern Bell Beaker L2 and Daco-Illyrian J2b-L283, R1b-Z2103 and the like. Further (hostile) waves of the latter could have eventually driven them out and prompted their migration into Italy by the LBA.

Unfortunately, there are virtually no archaeological studies on the areas of origin of the Osco-Umbrian and Latin-Faliscan language-speaking groups. Occasionally you find, in general works, the assumptions of some non-specialist scholars.

These days I was looking for the books of some important archaeologists of prehistory and protohistory of the past but copies are sold out even in libraries.

Two years ago, these studies (which should have had the analyses of several samples of speakers of Osco-Umbrian languages) were presented and were never heard from again.

Unraveling the genetic history of Italians: a genome-wide study of Iron Age Italic populations

Zaro Valentina (1), Vergata Chiara (1), Cannariato Costanza (1), Modi Alessandra (1), Vai Stefania (1), Pilli Elena (1), Diroma Maria Angela (1), Caramelli David (1), Lari Martina (1) Department of Biology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy (Italy)

The high genetic variability of present-day Italians reflects a complex scenario of past population dynamics dating back not only to Late Paleolithic and Neolithic but also Metal Ages. Although many archaeogenetic studies have been recently carried out to investigate the peopling of Europe, only few genomic data have been reported from Italic populations so far, especially the ones belonging to the last phase of Metal Ages: the Iron Age. To outline a picture of Iron Age genetic variability within the Italian context and infer potential gene flow patterns, we collected 78 human remains from 8 Iron Age necropolises covering 5 different regions of Italy (Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Marche, Latium and Sicily). Double stranded half-UDG libraries were produced and then shotgun sequenced on an Illumina NovaSeq6000 platform to allow for an initial screening of the samples. Raw reads were processed using the EAGER pipeline and then assessment of DNA authenticity and sex determination were performed. Preliminary population genetics tests were run on genotyped data by building a west Eurasian PCA including all the samples with at least 10.000 SNPs covered on the Affymetrix Human Origins panel. The first results highlight an affinity of the majority of the samples with previously reported Iron Age individuals from Italy, while all samples from Sicily overlap with the genetic variability observed in this area during the Bronze Age. Our aim is to deeper investigate these samples which can significantly contribute to better understand past peopling dynamics of the Italian peninsula and reconstruct modern Italians' genetic history.


EXPLORING THE GENETIC DIVERSITY OF MAGNA GRAECIA – THE CASE OF CAMPANIA

Alissa Mittnik1,2, Alfredo Coppa3,4,5, Alessandra Sperduti6,7, Luca Bondioli6,8, Melania Gigante8, Claudio Cavazzuti9,10, Alessandra Modi11, David Caramelli11, Ron Pinhasi12, David Reich13,2,14,15 1 Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA 2 Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA and 07745 Jena, Germany 3 Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy 4 Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA 5 Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria 6 Bioarchaeology Service, Museum of Civilization, 00144 Rome, Italy 7 Department of Asia, Africa e Mediterraneo, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, 80121 Naples, Italy 8 Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Padua, 35139 Padua, Italy 9 Department of History Cultures Civilizations, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, 40124, Bologna, Italy 10 Durham University – Department of Archaeology, Durham DH1 3LE, UK 11 Department of Biology, University of Florence, 50122, Florence, Italy 12 Department of Anthropology, University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria 13 Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard Univeristy, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA 15 Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Starting in the 8th century BCE, coastal Campania in Southern Italy became a melting pot of various cultures and peoples when Etruscan and Greek colonizers joined local Italic tribes. By establishing cities and trade posts, the contact networks of Campania were further expanded across the Mediterranean and inland. We generated ancient genomes from Campania, spanning the 8th to 3rd century BCE, i.e. the Orientalizing, Archaic and Hellenistic-Roman period in this region. While most individuals can be attributed to a genetic ancestry that arose on the Italian mainland, we also discover descendants of migrants from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. Most notably, an individual dated to the 8th century at the first Greek settlement, Pithekoussai, a site that also yielded the earliest example of writing in the Euboean alphabet, was genetically of Aegean origin, and we find that this type of ancestry persisted at the site for several centuries. We compare the genetic composition of these descendants of Greek settlers to the local Campanians represented by individuals from the site San Marzano and Etruscan immigrants from Pontecagnano. We integrate a thorough analysis of the associated material culture and, where available, strontium isotopes to establish temporal and cultural patterns of mobility, ancestry and admixture that shaped the genetic landscape of Campanian Magna Graecia.
 
In my opinion you are oversimplifying a lot based on a wrong reading of the genetic position of Northern Balkans BA.

Have you seen what are the most common uniparental markers in Northern Balkan BA?

As we know there are many Iron and Bronze Age samples missing from many areas of Italy, we can only wait for the studies to be published, but R1b P312, R1b P311, R1b U152, R1b U52-L2, G2a-L497... are hardly markers related to the Balkans.
I have not looked closely into uniparental Balkan BA markers. Do you believe that the closest related population to the Central Italian IA population samples we have so far is coming from somewhere other than the Balkans BA based off autosomal dna? To me it appears evident that there were large scale Pannonian to Padanian migrations occurring during the bronze age. The Balkan profile is really the only one that fits this pattern as I see it. If steppe ancestry had come from virtually anywhere else it would show a noticably different cline and we also see a very close material culture sharing between the Carpathian Tell cultures and the Terramare culture of 1550BC - particularly regarding weaponry, in which there are particular sword types found only in Northern Italy and Hungary during this period and nowhere else. I see many more cultural contacts extending East rather than North in the Italian bronze age and this lines up with the autosomal results we have very neatly.
 
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Do you believe that the closest related population to the Central Italian IA population samples we have so far is coming from somewhere other than the Balkans BA based off autosomal dna? To me it appears evident that there were large scale Pannonian to Padanian migrations occurring during the bronze age. The Balkan profile is really the only one that fits this pattern as I see it. If steppe ancestry had come from virtually anywhere else it would show a noticably different cline and we also see a very close material culture sharing between the Carpathian Tell cultures and the Terramare culture of 1550BC - particularly regarding weaponry, in which there are particular sword types found only in Northern Italy and Hungary during this period and nowhere else. I see many more cultural contacts extending East rather than North in the Italian bronze age and this lines up with the autosomal results we have very neatly.

The earliest protohistoric migrations into northern and some areas of central Italy that bring Steppe are most likely those of the Bell Beaker culture from Central Europe shortly before the 2000 a.C. This is supported both archaeologically and genetically. Just look at the Bell Beaker sample from Parma (I2478, 2195-1940 cal BCE see "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107). He was R1b P312 (R1b1a1a2a1a2 ) and K1a2a, which is also, not coincidentally, one of the most common haplogroups found in the Etruscans and Latins (although the Latins analyzed are too few to draw conclusions).

"Population discontinuity in northern Italy. Our Beaker Complex individual from Parma is slightly shifted towards populations with steppe ancestry in the PCA (Fig 1b). We tested for symmetry between BB_Italy_Par and Remedello_CA3 (Table S2), a culture preceding the Beaker Complex in northern Italy. Several steppe-like populations such as EHG (Z=4.6) or Yamnaya_Samara (Z=3.9) share more alleles with BB_Italy_Par than with Remedello_CA, indicating that our Italian Beaker Complex individual harbors a steppe-related ancestry component not present in the previous Remedello culture."

Then later there may have been later migrations from the Danube/Pannonian area, it's very likely, especially in the final phase of the Bronze Age, but markers such as R1b P312, R1b P311, R1b U152, R1b U52-L2, G2a-L497 point to the Rhine valley as the area of formation.
 
I respect Pax but, I agree with Vitruvius regarding this matter. Looking at Cardarelli et al 2020 and Cavazzuti et al 2022, it is clear. It certainly shows that there was a migration of Carpathian Unfield refugees in the early and middle Terramare period (approximately 1500-1450 BC). Emilian Terramare embraced Urn-cremation and developed during that period, and roughly 300 years later, climate change and population pressure caused 120,000 people(estimates of Cardarelli) to abandon their settlements and flee to the central and south, with a small number of them making their way into Mycenaean Greece and the Levant. (Of course, some remained in the area or moved to Frattesina.) I believe that, as well as being a Sea People, they were likely the fathers of the Roman and Etruscan civilizations and therefore may have played the most important role in the Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age.
 
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I have not looked closely into uniparental Balkan BA markers. Do you believe that the closest related population to the Central Italian IA population samples we have so far is coming from somewhere other than the Balkans BA based off autosomal dna? To me it appears evident that there were large scale Pannonian to Padanian migrations occurring during the bronze age. The Balkan profile is really the only one that fits this pattern as I see it. If steppe ancestry had come from virtually anywhere else it would show a noticably different cline and we also see a very close material culture sharing between the Carpathian Tell cultures and the Terramare culture of 1550BC - particularly regarding weaponry, in which there are particular sword types found only in Northern Italy and Hungary during this period and nowhere else. I see many more cultural contacts extending East rather than North in the Italian bronze age and this lines up with the autosomal results we have very neatly.
I think it is too early to be sure when the Balkan BA like profile came to Italy. Carpathian Urnfield refugees who fled to northern Italy in the 16th century BC due to the expansion of the Tumulus culture? Maybe so, but I don't know.
 
The earliest protohistoric migrations into northern and some areas of central Italy that bring Steppe are most likely those of the Bell Beaker culture from Central Europe shortly before the 2000 a.C. This is supported both archaeologically and genetically. Just look at the Bell Beaker sample from Parma (I2478, 2195-1940 cal BCE see "The Beaker Phenomenon and the Genetic Transformation of Northwest Europe" by Olalde et al, 2107). He was R1b P312 (R1b1a1a2a1a2 ) and K1a2a, which is also, not coincidentally, one of the most common haplogroups found in the Etruscans and Latins (although the Latins analyzed are too few to draw conclusions).



Then later there may have been later migrations from the Danube/Pannonian area, it's very likely, especially in the final phase of the Bronze Age, but markers such as R1b P312, R1b P311, R1b U152, R1b U52-L2, G2a-L497 point to the Rhine valley as the area of formation.

First of all, thank you for pointing out the Parma samples as I was not aware of those until now. That being said, I gave the Olalde paper an overview and found that the PCA shown still evidences a clear Balkan>Italian route of migration for Parma. There are only 3 samples for Parma, but combined with Broion & Regina Margherita, all samples clearly avoid a central/nothern european pull of ancestry in favor of a Yamnaya>Balkan>Italian route. The main difference here seems to be that northern europeans experienced a Corded Ware influence that simply wasn't present in most of southern europe. Notice how the average direction of travel of Parma BA and Hungary BA largely avoid the Central European cluster? They instead point more directly to the "Steppe Early Bronze Age (Yamnaya)" cluster:

Parma BA.jpg
We see the exact same pattern of avoiding Central European influence in favor of Balkan-like or direct Yamnaya influence in the rest of the Italian bronze age samples from N. and C. Italy as well:

ITABA copy.png




To me this is very clear evidence of a non CEU origin for bronze age Italians and this is a much more full picture of what was happening than just looking at uniparentals Y haplogroups which can dramatically shift over time due to male offspring bias. I think if CEU influence was present in this era then it was definitely a smaller minority of incoming ancestry than that of Balkanic migrations.

Consider also that the bronze age Carpathian Basin was also home to its own Bell Beaker culture. Such a material culture is not exclusive to central Europe and should not be identified or assumed to imply CEU admixture. There is also the aspect of the overlap of these populations with the (then) contemporary BA croatia and BA hungary as well. This type of overlap is something I would expect to see shared with central europe if Polada and Terramare were indeed CEU derived, but we don't see it really at all so far. As usual, more sampling is definitely needed, but for what does exist currently, I think there is a clear trend of non CEU associated yamnaya admixture radiating from the Balkans. I place a much stronger emphasis on autosomal admixture than Haplogroup frequency.
 
I respect Pax but, I agree with Vitruvius regarding this matter. Looking at Cardarelli et al 2020 and Cavazzuti et al 2022, it is clear. It certainly shows that there was a migration of Carpathian Unfield refugees in the early and middle Terramare period (approximately 1500-1450 BC). Emilian Terramare embraced Urn-cremation and developed during that period, and roughly 300 years later, climate change and population pressure caused 120,000 people(estimates of Cardarelli) to abandon their settlements and flee to the central and south, with a small number of them making their way into Mycenaean Greece and the Levant. (Of course, some remained in the area or moved to Frattesina.) I believe that, as well as being a Sea People, they were likely the fathers of the Roman and Etruscan civilizations and therefore may have played the most important role in the Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age.
Thank you for the support and what you said was very well spoken. I too, respect Pax but I have to agree that I think the Balkan origin is much more likely/dominant in the formation of the Northern/Central Italian genepool. I also agree that the Terramare collapse/protovillanovan spread was likely the birth of the Italian people as a culturally homogenized entity across the peninsula and also that the Terramare were at least one ethnic component of the sea peoples phenomenon and would go on to form the basis the Latins/Etrsucans centuries later.
 
There's nothing here I fundamentally disagree with. Italy in late Neolithic times seems to show a convergence of Western and Eastern Mediterannean influences, more one than the other depending on the region.
I believe there was an initial Bell Beaker-derived migration from the West, but these Beakers already having reduced Steppe admixture by the time most settled in Italy. The Rhone-Maritime beakers would have had a relatively West-Med genetic profile from fairly early on, and I believe these are a decent proxy, if not origin, for Proto-Latins, Ligurians etc...
The Central-eu component continued to to swamped after time in North and Central Italy, and the West Med component was shrinking somewhat as well throughout the later Bronze and Iron Ages down to the Imperial era, being overtaken by East Med and Balkan admixed peoples. Originally West-Med peoples like the Latins and Faliscans were swamped by more Eastern-leaning peoples like Etruscans and Sabellics, and were reduced to relatively small holdouts that were somewhat mixed in themselves. Latium itself was dotted with Sabellic and Etruscan settlements interspersed with traditionally attested Latin ones, at least by the Iron Age.

I agree the Terramare collapse is what unified much of Italy on a cultural, technological, and somewhat genetic basis over time. I believe this is what brought the Etruscans over to Tuscany and Latium from the Po Valley.
A relatively primitive Italic Appenine Culture being "civilized" by Etruscan handiwork, ideas and other influences. Rome itself started as a rather primitive Italic settlement and was transformed into a stone city with plumbing by the Etruscans. Etruscan ingenuity combined with Italic war-hardiness and brutality is part of what made Rome a force to be reckoned with starting with the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, Rome's first Etruscan king.
 

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