December 04, 2008

Major study of Iberian Y-chromosomes (Adams et al.)

with 2 Updates (latest: 9 Dec 08)

This article will be an invaluable resource for students of Iberian Y-chromosome diversity, due to the numerous 18-marker haplotypes from all regions contained in the supplement.

The authors modeled the Iberian population as a 3-way mix with "Basque", "Sephardic", and "North African". The main thesis is that the fairly substantial "Sephardic" and "North African" components identified are evidence of substantial religious conversion of Jews and Muslims.

The North African component may be roughly correct; it is similar to the 6% reported for Sicily, which was also occupied by Muslims. The Sephardic component is however suspect, as it may be of either Arabic or Italian origin, or indeed even earlier population movements from the Eastern Mediterranean.

Another point of contention is with the use of Basques as pre-Sephardic/Muslim Iberians. The Christian population of Iberia prior to the arrival of the Jews and Muslims, included non-Basque Celtiberians, Romance speakers, as well as a Visigoth/Germanic layer.

Nor is it clear that the North African component in Iberians stems from Muslim converts, since bidirectional movement of populations across Gibraltar may predate the occupation of Iberia.

UPDATE I

To see the reliability of this type of study, consider that what this study terms "Sephardic", is what another recent study termed "Phoenician". In the previous study Ibiza was considered Phoenician-influenced and compared with Mallorca and Minorca. In this one, Ibiza is assigned a hefty 33% "Sephardic Jewish" influence, while Minorca only -7.5%. At least, one would think they'd pick an admixture method that didn't result in negative contributions...

Choose your parental populations carefully, mix, shake, and get whatever result you please: Neolithic, Phoenician, Jewish, there's something for every taste.

UPDATE II (Dec 9)

Figure of frequencies added at the top of the post.

From the paper:
To formally assess the impact of North African and Sephardic Jewish contributions on the indigenous population, we carried out admixture analysis, employing the mY estimator and treating the study populations as hybrids of three parental populations. We chose the Basques as the Iberian parental sample. This is justified on the basis of a relative absence of Muslim occupation of the Basque region and supported by the genetic distinctiveness of the Basque and neighboring Gascon samples (Figure 3).

In plain English, the authors could just as well have written: "Basques are distinct from other Iberians. This may be due to either (i) the fact that there were indeed differences between Basques and other Iberians even before the Muslim occupation/Jewish settlement: after all they occupy their own region, not Iberia-at-large, and speak a different language. Or, (ii) it could be that the rest of the Iberians have undergone substantial admixture with Muslims and Jews. We arbitrarily choose hypothesis (ii) as our premise, and ¡qué sorpresa! our data backs up our pre-supposed idea."

More from the paper:
An additional factor that could lead to overestimation of Sephardic Jewish ancestry proportions is the effect of other influences on the Iberian Peninsula from eastern Mediterranean populations that might have imported lineages such as G, K*, and J. These influences fall into two different time periods: the Neolithic era, beginning in 10 KYA, the demographic effects of which are a matter for heated debate;1 and the last three millennia, the time period of Greek and Phoenician colonization.65 Effects in the second case are expected to be most marked in the eastern part of our sample area, but despite this, the apparent Sephardic Jewish ancestry proportions remain substantial in the west (Figure 4). The confounding effects of earlier population movement are likely to be particularly strong for Ibiza, Majorca, and Minorca, whose island natures make them more susceptible to influence by immigration and subsequent drift than inland sites. For example, history records that Ibiza, found to have a high apparent Sephardic Jewish ancestry proportion in our study, had an insignificant Jewish population compared to its neighbors66 yet had previously been an important Phoenician colony. Likewise, Minorca is recorded as having a substantial Jewish population,66 yet here, it shows no Sephardic Jewish ancestry.

It is true that Greek or Phoenician influence would be concentrated in particular regions. Whether Y-chromosomes "stay put" for a period of 2.5 thousand years is a different question. But, Neolithic Y-chromosomes certainly would have had ample time to be fairly uniformly distributed across the peninsula. And, the most important single aspect of Iberian history, i.e., the Roman conquest, which would have introduced not only the dominant language, but also a fair amount of genes is totally ignored.

In fact this is the single reference to the Roman period in this paper:
The Jewish presence was very long-established, with some evidence that it predated the Christian era; many Jews, however, are thought to have arrived during the Roman period
But, seriously, in the Roman period, not only Jews, but most importantly Romans settled in Iberia. And, by the way, they must have been numerous enough to change the language. But, let's ignore these pesky Romans and pretend that Iberians are a simple mix of Basques/Moroccan/Jews.

Bottom line: great data, subpar interpretation.

American Journal of Human Genetics doi:

The Genetic Legacy of Religious Diversity and Intolerance: Paternal Lineages of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula

Susan M. Adams et al.

Abstract

Most studies of European genetic diversity have focused on large-scale variation and interpretations based on events in prehistory, but migrations and invasions in historical times could also have had profound effects on the genetic landscape. The Iberian Peninsula provides a suitable region for examination of the demographic impact of such recent events, because its complex recent history has involved the long-term residence of two very different populations with distinct geographical origins and their own particular cultural and religious characteristics--North African Muslims and Sephardic Jews. To address this issue, we analyzed Y chromosome haplotypes, which provide the necessary phylogeographic resolution, in 1140 males from the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. Admixture analysis based on binary and Y-STR haplotypes indicates a high mean proportion of ancestry from North African (10.6%) and Sephardic Jewish (19.8%) sources. Despite alternative possible sources for lineages ascribed a Sephardic Jewish origin, these proportions attest to a high level of religious conversion (whether voluntary or enforced), driven by historical episodes of social and religious intolerance, that ultimately led to the integration of descendants. In agreement with the historical record, analysis of haplotype sharing and diversity within specific haplogroups suggests that the Sephardic Jewish component is the more ancient. The geographical distribution of North African ancestry in the peninsula does not reflect the initial colonization and subsequent withdrawal and is likely to result from later enforced population movement--more marked in some regions than in others--plus the effects of genetic drift.

Link

36 comments:

Scott said...

Maybe Levantine, instead of Sephardic or Phoenician, would be a better term?

Dienekes said...

Maybe Levantine, instead of Sephardic or Phoenician, would be a better term?

Not even Levantine. Given their choices of parental populations, I'd say they interpreted J2 (which isn't frequent in either Basques or North Africans) as "Sephardic". But, it could just as easily have come from Italy.

After all, Iberians speak a Romance language, so one would think they'd consider the Italian input into the gene pool and not treat them as a Basque/Berber/Arab/Jewish mix.

Remember that these same guys (Behar, Skorecki etc.) were the ones who also conveniently ignored Italians and Greeks when they tried to quantify the European contribution to the Ashkenazi gene pool back in 2004, coming to the ridiculous conclusion that only 5-8% of European Y-chromosomes introgressed into the Ashkenazi gene pool.

just passing by said...

Don't forget the indigenous peoples that were there before the Indo-Europeans arrived. Think Tartessians and Iberians (as opposed to Celt-Iberians). And were the Lusitanians a non-Indo-European people? Anyway, I doubt that the indigenous population dried up and blew away with the arrival of Indo-Europeans.

Antigonos said...

DIENEKES,

Is there something wrong with your archives?
I tried to enter the October 2003 articles and the ones of September 2003 but i was unable!
Your archives don't work for dates before the 10th of November 2003!
The last accesible post is the below:

http://dienekes.50webs.com/blog/archives/000424.html

Mark Royer said...

Some of the men with J2 could also be the descendants of the early Christians, most of whom were of Jewish heritage, who spread all over the Roman Empire and beyond. They did not dry up and blow away either. They married among the Gentiles with whom they shared their faith. So virtually all Western Europeans probably have at least some Jewish roots. Anti-Semites bust guts over that thought.

Antigonos said...

It's OK now Dienekes!

Kevin said...

Dienekes:

Why is it ridiculous that only 5-8% of European Y-chromosomes introgressed into the Ashkenazi gene pool? Recent genome-wide studies show that Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews are not closely related.

Mark Royer:

I think you are deluding yourself if you believe that most Europeans have Jewish ancestry. See my comment to Dienekes.

dienekesp said...

Why is it ridiculous that only 5-8% of European Y-chromosomes introgressed into the Ashkenazi gene pool? Recent genome-wide studies show that Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews are not closely related.

Because this was calculated by considering only Europeans north of Greece and Italy. It does not consider at all the admixture that may have occurred while Jews were in the Roman Empire.

grandcross said...

I am keeping an open mind until the full article is available for analysis. Let's see what they mean by "Y chromosome haplotypes, which provide the necessary phylogeographic resolution..." to define "North African" and Jewish origin. How do you confirm "ancestry from North African (10.6%) and Sephardic Jewish (19.8%) sources"?

I would agree that any Jewish component in this study likely reflects a more ancient presence in Iberia, but their actual numbers, dating back to Roman times and even before, amounted to a tiny fraction, perhaps 3-5% of the general population (which includes both genders, not just males).

The fact "geographical distribution of North African ancestry in the peninsula does not reflect the initial colonization and subsequent withdrawal" is a pretty vague statement, but if the authors are saying the current dispersal of M81 haplotypes in Iberia is relatively uniform with the exception of elevated numbers in the southeast and hot spots in the north, this isn't very newsworthy. An undetermined but probable significant percentage of E and J have occupied Iberia since at least the Neolithic and possibly long before that.

A "high level of religious conversion"? I seriously doubt this conclusion can be supported by Church documents that survived the period in question. There are more than a few of them and many are sufficiently detailed to provide an accurate assessment of who belived what and when after 1492. The "New Christian-Old Christian" terminology did not end until the 18th century. It was only in 1773 that the invidious distinction between old and new was abolished in Portugal. The descendants of those who converted either willingly or otherwise were followed for generations in marriage, baptismal and death entries. Some of the conversos had been Christian first, then Muslim and then Christian again. Does conversion, forced or voluntary, work both ways in this study?

I'm more than willing to be persuaded otherwise, but this paper has a lot of questions to answer and a lot of explaining to make before I believe one out of every three men in the Iberian peninsula today is the descended from a Muslim or a Jew who converted to Christianity.

dienekesp said...

I would agree that any Jewish component in this study likely reflects a more ancient presence in Iberia, but their actual numbers, dating back to Roman times and even before, amounted to a tiny fraction, perhaps 3-5% of the general population (which includes both genders, not just males).

And, remember that some of that element was indeed expelled from Iberia. If you add the number that was expelled to the number that supposedly stayed behind, you come up with the conclusion that the Jewish component was even more important than the Christian one, which is not plausible.

Maju said...

Interesting supplemental material, indeed. Obviously correlation with Sephardic (that are very distinct from Iberians in the Y-DNA pool, as are Moroccans) just mean that ancestry could come ultimately from the Eastern Mediterranean (North Africa in the case of Moroccan) and that origin could be anywhere in the Levant, Anatolia, Greece or even Albania.

True that Italians, specially in the south, have a strong influence from that area but it's also true that before the Etruscans or even before the Romans themselves, if we are to search for an Italian mediated influence in Iberia, we have to go back to Cardium Pottery Neolithic. Copper, Bronze and Iron ages influences (sometimes not very clear anyhow) came directly from beyond Italy: from Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon.

Some notes:

E3b (paper's nomenclature): E3b1 and E3b2 appear to have the same distribution or almost. I'd say they have a focus in Southern Portugal (origin of Dolmenic Megalithism and important "civilization" center later on in the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age).

Haplogroups I and K(xP) (i.e. T) appear to be more common in three areas: SE, Aragon and Galicia. I'd think of a SE focus (El Argar and related cultures), spread maybe in the Bronze Age.

Haplogroup G appears to show a Catalan-Western Iberia connection, that for what I know may date back to Chalcolithic times and, of this is true, should extend into SE France (anyone knows?).

J1 appears to be concentratd in the SE, being rare elsewhere. J2 is ubiquitous and should be mainly Neolithic (maybe the most typical CP clade?), and ubiquitous is as well R1b3, though this is massively dominant everywhere. Instead, Indo-European R1a is rare and spread around.

Within R1b3, R1b3* appears closely interconnected by haplotype on first sight. R1b3f appears as the most common subclade, pretty much ubiquitous too, followed by R1b3d (Basque focus here) and with R1b3b (minor Basque, found anywhere else? - I get lost with this nomenclature).

I'd say that all clades but R1b3 (sic) and R1a (that would correlate with Celtic and Germanic invaders) are Neolithic (or post-Neolithic) inputs, arriving from the Eastern Mediterranean with Cardium Pottery - or later within Bronze and Iron Age colonial contacts. Exception are those arriving from North Africa (probably with the original Andalusian/SW Neolithic, or later in the context of Megalithism). A pattern that would fit with Muslim domain or Jewish presence is not apparent, at least on first sight (J1 may be a exception).

Crimson Guard said...

If Haplogroup J is related to I, then I dont think it's possible.

The Etruscan's are also largely considered responsible, or accredited to, the creation of the Villanovan culture which was to have given rise to Celts(Hallstatt) and Italics. Oppenheimer places the Celt's origin possibly in the Eastern Mediterranean, but the central Mediterranean/Alps(ie Italy,Southern France, Austria areas) are more likely.

Maju said...

If Haplogroup J is related to I, then I dont think it's possible.


Uh? What is not possible? And sure, I and J are related but the branching out surely happened deep in the UP. Whatever the case, I in Iberia appears as Neolithic as J by origin.

The Etruscan's are also largely considered responsible, or accredited to, the creation of the Villanovan culture which was to have given rise to Celts(Hallstatt) and Italics.

Early Villanovan is contemporary of Urnfields and I would say it's Urnfields which influenced Etruscans (cremation) than the other way around. Whatever the case, Etruscan influence in the world was limited to Italy (and Corsica).

Certainly Etruscans are not "at the origin" of Celts and Italics, whatever the mutual cultural influences. Etruscans are not even Indoeuropean (so hardly they could be at the origin of IE-speaking peoples)... although they do appear immigrants from Anatolia/Aegean and might be related with other pre-IE peoples of that area (Troy, Minoans, etc.).

What do you mean? Etruscans never influenced Iberia. Phoenicians did, and also did Greeks to an extent (specially in the Mycenaean period but also in the Classic one via Marseilles). Prior to these influences (mostly limited to the southern and eastern coastal areas) it's speculated Iberians could have contacts with Crete (glass beads) and maybe Cyprus (architectural concept: tholos) but the evidence is very scant. And then we have to go back to Cardium Pottery to get any cultural influx from the Eastern Med, in this case certainly mediated by Italy and Provence.

While the secondary waves (Phoenicians, Greeks and maybe others) surely reinforced somewhat the Eastern Med components in Iberia, I think it's reasonable to assume that most of that arrived early on, when farming could still make a difference in form of founder effects.

For me most interesting is actually to trace the possible origins of the different Eastern clades: J2, I and G specially. J2 is widespread and could be as much Levantine as Greek (Cretan or whatever), it appears to be from the Western Balcans (where CP had its main origin) but what about G?

Also what about the two main E clades? If I understand properly, one is "Eastern Mediterranean" and the other "North African", yet they show very much the same distribution in Iberia, what suggests they expanded together, apparently from a southern Portuguese focus (Megalithism related probably).

Alpha said...

Iberian Ashkenaz Project

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/IberianSurnamesofAshkenaz

Narciso said...

The percentage of sephardic jews could be consistent with historic evidence. The largest forced conversions happened during the pogroms of 1391, not in 1492. After 1391 the new christians flourished, gained enormous political influence (the maternal grandmother of Ferdinand the Catholic was a conversa, making him technically jewish). Envy and resentment against the powerful conversos partially provoked the 1492 expulsion.

The total number of conversions, in 1492 and 1391, could well have reached around 500,000 thousand, in a country with 5-6 million people. Most conversos were relatively well off, and they could be expected to have more surviving offspring than the rest of the population, so based on history, 20% is not a crazy number.

However, it seems that the authors' approach counts all levantine genetic contribution as "sephardic", whereas many of those genes obviously come from neolithic inmigrants, phoenicians, etc.

Another study some years ago counted 80% european paleolithic Y-chromomosomes, 15% middle east and 5% north african. That is not the same as saying that we Spaniards are 80% basque, 15% jewish and 5% moor...not that there is anything wrong with that!

dienekesp said...

On the contrary, I think that there was very little conversion. It all depends on how one reconstructs the ancestral populations that admixed, but I would say that the best candidate for a group that must've been present among SJ is J(xJ2). But, this occurs very sporadically among Spaniards, and not all of it is of SJ origin anyway.

Maju said...

Iberian Ashkenaz Project

Shouldn't it be "Iberian Sephardic"? I say by the very meaning of the word "Sepharad"...

However, it seems that the authors' approach counts all levantine genetic contribution as "sephardic", whereas many of those genes obviously come from neolithic inmigrants, phoenicians, etc.

Obviously. It would be even much more logical that these were Arabic than Jewish.

Anyhow, I cannot agree with your elaboration of 20% being a reasonable number at all in any case, sorry, moreso when there are so many other ancient sources and one can perfectly assume that, while Sephardic Jews are a good comparison outgroup, they do not represent only themselves but nearly anything from West Asia or even SE Europe (Greece is very high in many of the clades conidered, for example, and hgI appears to relate most directly with the Adriatic - all in line with CP expansion patterns).

Another study some years ago counted 80% european paleolithic Y-chromomosomes, 15% middle east and 5% north african. That is not the same as saying that we Spaniards are 80% basque, 15% jewish and 5% moor...not that there is anything wrong with that!

Well, it's about the same actually. Just it depends on how you look at it.

I would say that the best candidate for a group that must've been present among SJ is J(xJ2). But, this occurs very sporadically among Spaniards, and not all of it is of SJ origin anyway.

Good observaion, Dienekes.

...

Btw, I made up some frequency maps based on the supplemental material. Check them here if you wish.

Gioiello said...

Mr Aburto (a bad name in Italian), re the recent paper on Jews and Moors in the Spanish heritage, answering to a pungent observation of Dienekes re the inhabitants of Mallorca, who are of Jewish or Phoenician extraction as the morning and the evening wind, posted a paper on the Jews and Phoenicians in Malta. Here we have read that the Azzopardo family is of Jewish extraction. Who says this? The same who wrote the paper, Mr Lawrence Attard Bezzina. Which proofs has he? The Volksetymologie from “Safardi”. If he would give an exam in glottology at the Università di Pisa perhaps it wouldn’t be sufficient a hundred of appeals. In fact the coats of arms he reported present a “pardus” climbing a tree. For me Italian it isn’t difficult to think to a “alzopardo”. In fact the name “Alzopardo” is documented in Pisa in 12th century.

Maju said...

I may mention, re. some previous comments on the intensity of "ethnic cleansing" in early modern Iberia, that Aragon was overall much more tolerant than Castile and that in general there were resistences to force expulsion or uncovering of "false converts" because, specially Muslims, made up a very sizeable fraction of the manpower. Probably there was less tolerance re. Jews but that surely varied too with the Aragonese crown more likely to be tolerant than Castile (not sure about Portugal but I think they were in the Castilian line).

But, with some exceptions, we don't find Eastern Mediterranean or North African clades to be more frequent in the former lands of Aragon. And only widespread J2 appears somewhat stronger in the core Al Andalus area among all these transmediterranean clades. Surprisingly Asturias (core of Christian Castile-Leon) appears as one of the most "Mediterranized" areas of all Iberia. All this seems hard to explain with the vision only in "recent" historical epysodes.

We have to look further into the past and start pondering how much Mediterranean immigration existed not just in the times of Neolithic arrival but also later on. For instance, Galicia and Northern Portugal were only colonized in the Chalcolithic (very late Neolithic at most, with no human presence detected for earlier times), for instance, becoming very important in the Bronze Age because of aboundance of tin. The extant clade distribution does seem to suggest that the late colonization of NW Iberia had a relatively high presence of "Mediterranean" elements (E3b, J2, G - possibly I as well).

(Note: I use here the terms "Mediterranean" or "Transmediterranean" to mean all clades of Eastern Mediterranean and North African affinity indistinctly, by contrast with European clades, mostly R1b).

pp987 said...

Andrés, note that in the Sephardim sample, j1(jxj2) and j2 were near as common. In the other hand, in the iberian samples j2 is several times more common than j1. So, it's not plausible to consider j2 in iberia as of jewish origin. They didn't study specific markers in this study, they made a rough comparison, less then scientific.

Kepler said...

PP987,
You may be right.
I saw very superficially the study first. It is actually...let's say "strange" how they can come to those conclusions about the Moroccan and Jewish background based on those few markers.

Tam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tam said...

Maybe Levantine, instead of Sephardic or Phoenician, would be a better term?

Even Levantine doesn't cover it, because Granada itself was settled by South Arabians & they were the last to leave. While Zaragoza was settled Levantines.

Mideastern as the region these genes came from in (neolithic & historical eras) or Arabid as a (genotype) is the closest thing because these terms are used to describe Pre-Semitic populations.

Describing J in Spain as Semitic, Arab, Jewish or Phoenician is misleading, because it ignores the Greco-Roman portion!

Maju said...

I am J2, from Spanish descent. My family name is typical from the Seville region. I think there was a lot of conversion (real or pretended), there is some literature on that, even some stories within many families ("my granddad says...blablabla"). Were those stories just a myth?

I don't think so. People here is minimizing the level of religious conversion, when we know well that most peasants will just do whatever is imposed on them and many powerful people will just choose religion out of convenience. Lots of Andlusi Muslims coverted to Christianism more or less reluctantly and were eventually assimilated (this is particularly true of Andalusia, Aragon, Valencia... where they made up the majority of the workforce).

But (an important but) the same happened when most of Iberia was Islamized: most Muslims were in fact of native Iberian origin. The only region that certainly provided some significative stock to the Iberian pool in that period were Berbers. Sure, there were a handful of true Arabs, a varied array of "Slavic" slaves (anyone from Eastern Europe) who took power in some principalities and a significative apportion of Jews. But the widespread presence of J2 not just in the south but also in the very core of "Christian Spain": Asturies, suggests it has little to do with Al Andalus, the Reconquista, etc. That is older, at least for the most part.

But the case anyhow is that most people just converted to Islam when it was dominant and then "back" to Christianity when it was the thing demanded. There were resistences but overall it was just an acceptance, by grade or force, of the dominant cult as a matter of fact. All this process implied little or no population change, it was political and religious change first and foremost.

Or: were so many more J2 before the Islam invasion?

Rather this, I think.

J2 is mostly a West Asian/Aegean clade and its much more likely to have arrived in the Neolithic or maybe also in the time after it (Bronze Age?). It cannot be easily related with Al Andalus.

I also see Portugal has a high percentage of J2, which coincides with the many Jews who fled from Spain.

Portugal followed the same policies as Spain (Castile, Aragon - not really any "Spain" then yet) regarding religious cleansing. Jews and Muslims were forcibly converted there in about the same dates as in "Spain". The main refuge area for Iberian Muslims was North Africa, while Iberian Jews went there as well, or to Turkey or to "liberal" countires like Navarre (for a few decades) or the Netherlands (later on).

The rather high apportion of "Neolithic" markers in SW and, in general Western Iberia rather demands another explanation (places like Galicia, Asturias or historical Leon are also high in "Transmediterranean" clades and doesn't make any sense they were affected at all in the Al Andalus period.

NW Iberia (specially Galicia and Northernmost Portugal, that show no traits of human presence before) was heavily colonized in the late Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age (in this period because of aboundant tin resources specially). It is the time to leave a genetic mark in the area, more than any time later. Also this mark correlates largely with that of further south (SW Iberia, an important civilization center). So I'd look for the "Transmediterranean" founder effects in Neolithic or Chalcolithic (maybe even Bronze Age) of Southern Portugal and related areas of Spain.

but so far the closest matches I get seem to be Jewish (or Germans who may have Jewish ancestors) or Southern Italians plus a Jordan.

Maybe you do have Jewish ancestors (there must be a fraction of such lineages in Iberia, certainly, and maybe more in Latin America, where many converts looked for some more dignity and opportunities) but think that there must be a strong bias, with very few people from West Asia other than Israelis participating in such tests.

...

because Granada itself was settled by South Arabians & they were the last to leave. While Zaragoza was settled Levantines.

There was no such "settlement". Only Berbers arrived in significative numbers and they settled mostly in Andalusia, specially in the mountain regions of Granada, so similar to the Rif. Arabs were always a tiny minority, even if they were for a time dominant among the elite. The bulk of the population was anyhow always native (they just converted to Islam - or in many cases they remained Christian).

Describing J in Spain as Semitic, Arab, Jewish or Phoenician is misleading, because it ignores the Greco-Roman portion!

Well, that is true and Greece/Cyprus/Anatolia may have played a significative role, for instance in the Bronze Age. But most importantly it ignores the pre-Semitic and pre-IE Neolithic colonization, that IMO must have been the main causant of "Transmediterranean" founder effects in all Iberia.

Tam said...

"There was no such "settlement". Only Berbers arrived in significative numbers and they settled mostly in Andalusia, specially in the mountain regions of Granada, so similar to the Rif"

I was talking about an area = 5% of Spain Granada proper, the rest of Spain had Berbers settled in every corner & even more so after teh fall of the Ummayads & the North African hordes entering Spain, they were obviously more than the Arabs (I think of it of a similar demographic situation to Pre-Hilali Maghrib). However, historian accounts mention that Eastern Andulsia had two main tribal settlement Al-Souria in Saragusta & Yamania in Granada.

The Nasrid Dynasty was called the Nasrid dynasty because they came from the Ansar lineage. Ibn Khaldun also came from a Yemeni lineage proximate to the Nasrids. All accounts describe Granada as different than the rest of Al-Andalus their Arabic was praised as an eloquent & pure dialect compared to North African dialects. (14th century)

As of the geography Yamani-Souri tribes came from Yemen & Houran both mountain regions very similar to Granada & the Rif itself was ruled by a Himyari dynasty up until 1019 AD.

That said...I am open to the possibility that it could have been a case of an influential elite over representing themselves in history books.

Maju said...

Yes, they were an influential elite.

In the Middle Ages like 80-90% of the people used to be peasants who plaid no role in power. The rest most were also poor/middle classes, so to say. Also the elites were probably the ones who had less to lose taking the ship to Morocco, Algeria or even Turkey, and maybe more to lose if hey stayed.

But the bulk of the population were native Iberians (some Muslims, other Christians) who do not appear in the chronicles. There was surely some North African colonization and you can see how the Taifa kingdoms were all ruled either by native Iberian (most), Berber (in the mountainous south) or "Slavic" (in the East) dynasties. Similarly you see very little apparent trace of the famous Visigoths that preceded them (they were just a small, albeit very powerful, elite).

Tam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tam said...

Similarly you see very little apparent trace of the famous Visigoths that preceded them (they were just a small, albeit very powerful, elite)

I read more than a 300,000 Goths entered Iberia making them 10%-20% of the population at that time (Not sure where I read that though...) If thats true that means they had a much bigger genetic contribution than the Qahtani tribes that was limited to a few tribes many came by Sea re-enforcments directly to Narbones.


"Slavic" (in the East) dynasties

The Slavs were able to build dynasties in Iberia because they were (Saqaliba) Military royal guards. (Emirs Paranoia was as its highest so they prefered Slavic Royal troops who will not be allied to rival clans) Eventually the Saqaliba grew too strong & had two military emirates in Tartosa & Valencia. Elcid replaced them & used some of their troops for his own campaigns, I think both have a role in influencing future Multi-Ethnic troops of Aragon.

But the bulk of the population were native Iberians (some Muslims, other Christians)

Cassius dynasty (Banu Qusai) are well recorded native muslims they ruled the Ebero valley in the name of the Ummayads, it was after the fall of the Ummayads when the Tujibids of Banu Judham along with Sancho pressured them till they fell. The Tujibids established Emirate Zaragoza the last Emirate to fall to the North African Moravids in 1110 AD.

There was surely some North African colonization

The North Africans came in numerous occasions mainly as armies crossing into Iberia. IMO the major influx was between the 11th & 13th century in this period they controlled Islamic Iberia.

Maju said...

I honestly don't know which markers to associate with the Visigoths. I read more than a 300,000 Goths entered Iberia maybe 10% of that times population?

Probably many less (when I studied Spanish history in schoool the consensus was that less than 5%, it's of course open to speculation). And, in fact, the early core of Gothic presence was north of the Pyrenees, at Tolouse. In their Spanish phase, their main settlement area was just north of Madrid, around Segovia (would be NE Castile in this study specially).

I would expect a Germanic tribe to bring relatively high apportions of R1a and probably also I(xI2a) - i.e. Northern European I subclades. But we see very little of all that. R1a is only a handful of erratics, and while I is not studied at higher reslution here, it is nearly impossible to determine if it's Gothic or rather Celtic (in principle a more influential input, sustained for many centuries) or belongs to other Atlantic flows.

So based only in R1a, we got more than one (2 or 3) individuals only in Northern Portugal, West Andalusia and Valencia, none of them particualrly related to Goths (and, excepted Northern Portugal, neither to Celts). Many regions give no hits for R1a at all, including: NE Castile, where we should expect to find some distant offspring of those Goths who settled there, Catalonia, whose name is also derived from the Goths apparently, Asturias, that claimed Gothic legitimacy after the Muslim invasion, etc. The presence of R1a in Iberia appears to be almost just erratics of unclear origin and suggests that, overall, IE waves only had a very tiny, almost null demic impact in the penisula, after being filtered by the rest of Europe. That includes Goths and to a large extent Celts as well.

But the presence of Northern European I clades may be somewhat more significative, though it awaits proper study.

Cassius dynasty (Banu Qusai) are well recorded native muslims they ruled the Ebero valley in the name of the Ummayads...

You're partly wrong about the Banu Qasi: they ruled only a fraction of the Ebro basin around Tudela. While they were Muslims, they were fiercely independent and their closest ally was Pamplona (Christian), to which they were linked by family ties. Tudela and Pamplona buffered each other, striking deals at convenience and regardless of religion, and that way both managed to survive for many centuries.

Tudela (Banu Qasi) was not a taifa (i.e. not a fraction of the Caliphate) but the only native sovereign Muslim realm in the peninsula for centuries. It was precisely the Taifa of Zaragoza that invaded it soon after the Caliphate collapsed, though it was regained by Navarre later on.

What I meant by native dynasties are all the "Andalusi" ones that have Arabic names (who did not in that context?) but appear to be just local warlords. These ruled most of the taifa kingdoms and are not considered "Arab" but "Andalusi" (Iberian). The only "ethnic" rulers were then Berbers (Malaga, Almeria...) and Slavs (Valencia, Denia).

For a full list of the known rulers of the different taifas and other Islamic states in Iberia, check maybe this link (in Spanish).

The North Africans came in numerous occasions mainly as armies crossing into Iberia. IMO the major influx was between the 11th & 13th century in this period they controlled Islamic Iberia.

Yah. But where is their clear impact? One should expect it to show up specially in Eastern Andalusia but it does not. North African specific clades are in fact stronger along Western Iberia, including the Christian stronghold of Asturias, and that does not correspond at all with such migration within Al Andalus. It must have originated in some other period within other processes, and I think that Neolithic-Bronze Age appears as the most reasonable window in fact.

DagoRed said...

My studies were for a 2%-3% of visigoths in Spain. They were less then 100.000.
Vandals certanly were about 80.000, with 16.000 warriors.
This can also to illustrate the roman empire crisi.

Tam said...

I would expect a Germanic tribe to bring relatively high apportions of R1a and probably also I(xI2a) - i.e. Northern European I subclades. But we see very little of all that. R1a is only a handful of erratics

Was there any VisiGothic R1b?

Vandals? Sueves?
Alans (I think they might have brought some more G, R1a & J?)


What I meant by native dynasties are all the "Andalusi" ones that have Arabic names (who did not in that context?) but appear to be just local warlords. These ruled most of the taifa kingdoms and are not considered "Arab" but "Andalusi" (Iberian). The only "ethnic" rulers were then Berbers (Malaga, Almeria...) and Slavs (Valencia, Denia).

Thanks for the link. Lots of the taifa names seem to be Arabic with non tribal last names which usually means they are locals, but also some had clear Qahtani tribal last names.

The only Post-Ummayyad dynasties that I am certain of their Arabian lineage are the Tujibids of Emirate Zaragoza & the Nasrids of Emirate Granada. The rest of the dynasties with tribal Qahtani last names were mentioned by names & no one knows for sure.

Maju said...

Was there any VisiGothic R1b?

Vandals? Sueves?
Alans (I think they might have brought some more G, R1a & J?)


We don't really know the exact genetic made up of those tribals, obviously but, maybe excepting Alans (who seem to be related to modern Osetians), the rest all came from Central Europe, rather to the northeast (Eastern Germany for Vandals and Sweves, Poland/Rumania for Goths, ultimately from Sweden it seems). Vandals and Alans were basically expelled by the Goths and they should have left more legacy in Tunisia if anything. Sweves did survive in the NW for some time though.

In any case, we sould see typical Northern or Central European clades as their legacy and that's why I pondered R1a (like 50% in Poland, around 25% in Germany) and the Northern European subclades of I (I1 and I2b). We could also look I guess for Northern-specific R1b subclades but AFAIK these are extremely rare in Iberia too.

You can, if you wish, make the hard work of comparing haplotypes (they are listed in the supplemental material) but that's a task that overwhelms me. In any case, based on the lack of SNP matches, I would not expect too many coincidences. Overall I'd say that the genetic legacy of Goths and company is not more than 1% by the Y-DNA side.

G and J2 are primarily West Asian (also to some extent Balcanic, Mediterranean...) haplogroups. While Goths lived for some time in what's now Rumania, I would not expect them to have diluted so much their ethnic blood in a couple of centuries as to appear "Rumanian". They should still be outstanding in Northern European clades and these only show up as very tiny, almost testimonial, apportions.

Thanks for the link. Lots of the taifa names seem to be Arabic with non tribal last names which usually means they are locals, but also some had clear Qahtani tribal last names.

I am not knowledgeable on Arabic language and culture as to judge. I am in fact basing my claim in what I have read in several books, in which the properly Arab presence is very much minimized, at least in overall numbers - though a Berber immigration is acknowledged as more meaningful (logically, because of geography and because the invading armies were mostly recruited in North Africa) and specialy in the South.

Whatever the case, we should see, thealleged transmediterranean influence of Al Andalus specially in those areas that were central, very specially Andalusia, and also the East (Valencia, Aragon). But we see the transmediterranean clades much more concentrated in the West (SW could fit somewhat but NW not at all). This doesn't seem to agree with a strong Y-DNA layer associated with Muslim rulership.

alfio said...

"Not even Levantine. Given their choices of parental populations, I'd say they interpreted J2 (which isn't frequent in either Basques or North Africans) as "Sephardic". But, it could just as easily have come from Italy."


I just don't understand why J2 should came from Italy.
Why do everyone assume that romans were J2?
Romans were and indoeuropean people who shared a lot in common with alpine celts,infact celtic and italic languages were the most similar ever.Even the alpine celtic S28/U152 SNP is still the main subclade of R1b in Italy.
Etruscans were a minority-ruling class who left almost any trace in modern day italians(are we sure etruscans were from Anatolia however?).
We could assume that romans brought slaves or northafrican soldiers in Iberia but i seriously doubt there weren't even celts or german soldiers in the roman army as well.
At the time of Iberia's conquest Rome didn't even use a great number of foreign soldiers and the majority were italics.
So J2 coming from Italy sounds clueless to me.

Maju said...

Southern Italy specially is abundant in J2. IMO, it is very likely that a good deal of Iberian J2 arrived via Italy with Cardium Pottery culture (Mediterranean Neolithic), as well as other secondary flows from the Eastern Mediterranean (and, yes, maybe some with the Roman Empire too).

You can see the Y-DNA cake of Sephardi Jews in the map and they have virtually as much J1 as they have J2 (which is logical if they have any origin at Palestine at all, where J1 is very high), however Iberians have very little J1 (in spite of it being high at the other side of Alboran Sea). So, in first and second look it doesn't seem that Iberian J2 has Jewish origins.

However I agree that Dienekes likes to see all as if it was recent historical flows, so probably for him Roman Italy is a better candidate than Cardium Pottery. Needless to say that I can't agree with that.

Maju said...

But anyhow, the same that "Etruscans were a minority-ruling class", so were Indoeuropeans, Romans included (ever wondered about why the difference between Patricians and Plebeians?). Of course after a while of such elite dominance, everybody under their rule became Etruscan and later Roman.

Iridio said...

I can't let pass the misleading comments of Maju regarding his theory of Aragon being tolerant towards jewish people. Being of Spanish Jewish descent I consider important to set the record strait: JUST THE OPPOSITE, ALWAYS, ALL THE TIME. The best example is the criminal propaganda against the Jews iniciated and propagated by the Aragon king -Enrique de Trastamara that caused the worst deadly and cruel progroms that ever happenned in Spain, at the same time that this was happening in Aragon, the Castillian King Pedro was an ardient defender of the Jewish people, and anyone can check this data. The same story for the Expulsion in 1942, the Castilian Queen Isabella resisted it until the end, being her husband Fernando the Aragon the one pushing it reflecting the most traditional antisemitism of Aragon .


Here from the jewishencyclopedia:

"Henry de Trastamara (King of Aragon)and his brother, at the head of a rapacious mob, invaded (Sabbath, May 7, 1355) that part of the Juderia of Toledo called the Alcana; they plundered the ware-houses and murdered about 12,000 persons, without distinction of age or sex. The mob did not, however, succeed in overrunning the Juderia proper, where the Jews, reenforced by a number of Toledan noblemen, defended themselves bravely.

The more friendly Pedro (King of Castille) showed himself toward the Jews, and the more he protected them, the more antagonistic became the attitude of his illegitimate half-brother, who, when he invaded Castile in 1360, murdered all the Jews living in Najera and exposed those of Miranda de Ebro to robbery and butchery".