February 20, 2009

Auton et al. on Global distribution of genomic diversity

The full supplementary materials from this study are not online yet [UPDATE (May 2): You can read my comments on the suppplement here]. This seems to be based on a presentation from ASHG 2008. As I explained in that post, because Europe was settled from the east, it is expected that genomic diversity (left) would be higher in SE Europe and lower in SW Europe. However, the opposite is true. This, coupled with the observation of a higher degree of haplotype sharing between SW Europe and the Yoruba HapMap sample, suggests that genomic diversity in the Iberian peninsula has been enriched directly from Africa.

The STRUCTURE analysis is not quite clear, but clusters centered in Europe, Mexico, South Asia, East Asia, and Yoruba appear. From the figure, it appears that a little bit of "South Asian" appears in Europe, which may represent either a Gypsy element, or the more general "light blue" element which appeared in Li et al. Figure B, shows variability of Mexicans, who are mainly a European-Amerindian mix. Figure B distinguishes between Japanese and Chinese. Figure D distinguishes between Dravidian and non-Dravidian South Asians.
The POPRES sample has been previously used in a study on geography and genetic structure in Europe.

Genome Research doi:10.1101/gr.088898.108

Global distribution of genomic diversity underscores rich complex history of continental human populations

Adam Auton et al.

Abstract

Characterizing patterns of genetic variation within and among human populations is important for understanding human evolutionary history and for careful design of medical genetic studies. Here, we analyze patterns of variation across 443,434 SNPs genotyped in 3,845 individuals from four continental regions. This unique resource allows us to illuminate patterns of diversity in previously under studied populations at the genome-wide scale including Latin America, South Asia, and Southern Europe. Key insights afforded by our analysis include quantifying the degree of admixture in a large collection of individuals from Guadalajara, Mexico; identifying language and geography as key determinants of population structure within India; and elucidating a North-South gradient in haplotype diversity within Europe. We also present a novel method for identifying long-range tracts of homozygosity indicative of recent common ancestry. Application of our approach suggests great variation within and among populations in the extent of homozygosity suggesting both demographic history (such as population bottlenecks) and recent ancestry events (such as consanguinity) play an important role in patterning variation in large modern human populations.

Link

39 comments:

Gioiello said...

What do you think it means that Italy has the highest diversity in Europe?

Mike Keesey said...

"All paths lead to Rome"?

Jack said...

A country such as Italy is really 3-4 slightly different European countries in one if seen within an European context.
But in general I would argue that aprts of eastern Europe is the most diverse area if one considers the very alien gipsy and Asian element.
So I do not agree with what the paper says.

hjernespiser said...

I don't fully understand the map. It appears to arbitrarily divide up Europe, especially the eastern and northern parts. For example, why is Scandinavia lumped in with Hungary? The numbers appear meaningless.

Polak said...

hjernespiser,

Their division of Europe is largely based on the clusters they found based on the SNPs tested, but also on geography. These are the clusters, positioned against a South Asian sample...

http://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2009/02/genomic-diversity-around-globe.html

And the numbers on that map of Europe detail the haplotype diversity in each biogeographic region.

Jack,

Diversity is measured by the number of haplotypes seen within each biogeographic region.

Gioiello said...

Mike Keesey, all paths come from Rome! I have supported the theory that Italy was the "Refugium" of R1b1b2 (and other hgs.) and it seems to me that everything is going to go to this solution.

Maju said...

because Europe was settled from the east, it is expected that genomic diversity (left) would be higher in SE Europe and lower in SW Europe. However, the opposite is true.

This is not so simple. Europe was certainly settled from the East originally (i.e. in the Aurignacian age, maybe even Gravettian but this is at least doubtful) but not thereafter, except for relatively limited Neolithic/post-Neolithic migrations. The main ultimate source of Europeans was in West Asia, not Easter Europe, in any case.

Also, Europe (and on the whole Western Eurasia) experienced other Europe-based demic/cultural movements. The most important among these appear to have been:

1. Gravettian: known core in Central Europe, expanding west and east, with late offshots even in West Asia (and IMO also North Africa possibly)

2. Solutrean: core in Aquitaine probably. Much more limited but with offshots in Central Europe and (mixed with Gravettian in southern Iberia) probably also to North Africa (Oranian)

3. Magadalenian: core in Aquitaine. Clearly most important re. Central Europe (and by extension Northern Europe), also affected at alter date southern Iberia.

4. Epipaleolithic: Franco-Cantabrian Azilian certainly influenced southern Iberia too. Other epi-Magdalenian (Tardenoisian-related) was central in the colonization of the North and also influenced the SW. Eastern epi-Gravettian, as mentioned, had offshots into the Zagros area (Zarzian).

There are some very unclear epysodes, especially re. North Africa and Anatolia.

So, as far as I can see, West Eurasian demographic history is a complex overlap of flows in different directions, not just East > West but also West > East and others. Assuming a single main East > West direction is with all likehood a misconception.

...

genomic diversity in the Iberian peninsula has been enriched directly from Africa.

This is probably true. Not just from North Africa but also from the Eastern Mediterranean. But still the Iberian diversity is not much higher than other West European areas ("French" and "German" notably). This overall continental West European diversity may mean three things: enrichment from the East (and South), higher original diversity from Paleolithic times or even just a historically cosmopolitan nature of the region. I'd rather discard the third because I can't think of a more cosmopolitan country than Britain and yet it has lower diversity, but the other two are likely co-explanatory.

...

Otherwise, it's interesting to see that (sampled) Mexicans appear in this graph as 2/3 Native American (something they normally look like by phenotype, IMO) and not 2/3 or more European as appeared in other studies (Y-DNA, X-DNA based? - can't recall).

Maju said...

PS - regarding the first section of my previous comment. There are more recent prehistorical demic flows based in Europe.

Neolithic and post-Neolithic flows also had a big deal of European "native" element:

1. Balcanic Neolithic, even if ultimately dependent on West Asia and with clear founder effects of that origin, had important "coalescent" events in European territory, incorporating "native" European peoples (and genes) into it.

2. Cardium Neolithic: core in West Balcans, significatively of European genetic content (I2a notably) and mostly assimilating native peoples in its expansion (few strict colonization epysodes).

3. Danubian Neolithic: very likely of heavy native European genetic pool, even if culturally more dependent on Balcanic Neolithic than Cardium.

4. Megalithism: probable core in southern Portugal, may have carried Iberian and North African genes through Atlantic Europe (and European genes into North Africa maybe).

5. Dniepr-Don (core: Ukraine-Don) related migrations to the Baltic area.

6. Indo-European (Kurgan) migrations to Europe, West Central and South Asia (core SE European Russia, bordering Asia)

7. Uralic migrations through NE Europe. Siberian element but European coalescence too. Parallel to IEs.

8. Bell Beaker: core in Central Europe. Probably minimal demic flows. Secondary core in Portugal, not distinct from the Megalithic one.

9. Bronze Age influences from the Aegean (pre-Greek and early Greek), affecting very especially Italy and SE Iberia.

10. Secondary IE migrations from Central Europe, inclding Italics and Celts.

11. Proto-historical Germanic migrations from Northern Europe.

Just for the record. Complexity abounds.

McG said...

Just to confuse the issue, think their maybe something to the plato atlantis origin and a settlement of R1b by whoever they were. I also believe they were early inhabitants of Egypt and central america. Oh,how myth thrives!!!

Maju said...

Hmmm... The closest thing I've been able to relate to Atlantis (and some Greek mythology, particularly Herakles' works) is the Zambujal (or Vila Nova de Sao Pedro, VNSP for short) Chalcolithic civilization, placed at Estremadura, Portugal (the region where now Lisbon is at). They were right near the original megalithic area and fully integrated within Megalithism and, in the late period, with Bell Beaker as well. There's some clear evidence of Greek influence in the, likely rival, civilization of El Argar (SE Spain) and that this may have been related with the control of access to tin mines in the Atlantic (as well as other resources). See this page of mine for details.

But it's not possible that Atlantis existed 11,000 years ago in the Paleolithic/Epipaleolithic era, nor any of the neomyths related to it make any sense. Even some aspects of Plato's account appear as distortions of a remote romanticed reality, not to be taken literally.

Zambujal/VNSP was surely a regional power and, if Megalithic peoples/realms had some sort of alliance going, they were possibly even more than just that. This kind of Megalithic network may have helped move some genes around but for the most cases I would not think them as "founding parents" of any population. The main exception may be NW Iberia, a region colonized by AMHs only in the late Neolithic and most important in the in the tin mining business. On the rest the influence of this cultural and maybe religious/political network is surely only found in minority components (such as some clades of R1b or E1b1b, Iberian components in Northern Europe, etc.)

McG said...

I don´t really know if Plato was reporting a rumor or not. Suffice it to say, Egyptian culture declined with time, not improved. The Iserion (sp) is an early structure of complex design with a fleet of ships buried next to it. The more I look at R1b distribution, the more I am convinced of a west to east migration? However, there is very little historical archaeological evidence to support this hypothesis. Some of this may have happened preflood?

eurologist said...

I have a problem getting much out of these "goulash" studies. Sometimes, less is more - especially if you already have a hint of what may be important to study.

My friend and I were making lentil soups, the other day. I, the connoisseur, shopped around for 6 different varieties of lentils. Then I added carrots and salt.

She grabbed a single-denomination, huge bag at the local super market, and then added quite tiny amounts of carrots, celery, onions, garlic, beef, pork, pepper, salt, caraway, cayenne, clover, allspice, and a hint of California Bay Leaf laurel.

She won in the category of diversification.

I won in analyzing the taste and origin of lentil varieties.

Victor said...

Maju wrote:

Otherwise, it's interesting to see that (sampled) Mexicans appear in this graph as 2/3 Native American (something they normally look like by phenotype, IMO) and not 2/3 or more European as appeared in other studies (Y-DNA, X-DNA based? - can't recall).

It is interesting but the city of Guadalajara may not be representative of all Mexico.

McG said...

it seems obvious to me that traditional archeology has not provided the info we need re how migrations occurred. I´m not a subscriber to myth as dogma, but I do not discount it. To argue R1b migrated east to west is almost illogical to me. It doesnt fit the data!!!

Maju said...

Suffice it to say, Egyptian culture declined with time, not improved.

Depends on what aspects: if you measure culture by the size of the pyramids, then Egypt did as you say. If you measure by so many other aspects (technology, literacy, popular satisfaction probably), Egypt improved a lot towards the Second Empire.

It's not all in the side of the mausoleum: in fact the megalomaniatic dimensions of such monuments rather suggest despotism and unhappiness. In fact, they pharaoh renounced to keep wasting resources and their peoples' lives in such stupidities and ancient Egypt managed to stay around for many more centuries than to that.

The apogee of Egyptian power was s in any case c. 1300 BCE, when they were perfectly able to fight against the Hittites (and whoever) in Syria, soon before their conquest by the Assyrians, what marks the end of a truly independent Egypt.

it seems obvious to me that traditional archeology has not provided the info we need re how migrations occurred.

Archaeology is anything but "traditional": it's refining itself every single day with new research and technologies. Archaeology can only go that far but is the main tool to determine if a hypothesis makes sense or not. It provides the smoking gun, so to say, for the tribunal to reach a veredict.

One of the main problems in West Eurasian Prehistory, IMO, is the unequal knowledge we have of European prehistory and that of West Asia and North Africa. The gap is being narrowed a bit but a lot of incognites remain. Another problem is state borders, that tend to fragment realities across modern arbitrary divisions that in the past were not.

But Genetics also has problems: very especially in the age estimation methods. We now read that this clade is this old and then that other and probably is a lot older in fact than either case (IMO). A lot of people seems to take that not as the crude estimates they are but as "God's word" and that is laughable.

Anothe problem of genetics is that emphasizes a lot certain commercial elements (and samples), and that distorts everything. We have much more information on British and Irish DNA than regarding all African DNA together, for instance. We know a lot more about British/Irish R1b than about Basque or any other European, Asian or African R1b. It's a total mess.

It is interesting but the city of Guadalajara may not be representative of all Mexico.

Probably. Sample quality is essential for meaningful info.

McG said...

I am writing from Mazatlan. It is anything but typical (whatever that means). It was originally all indio of different tribes, mostly the Totomis, I believe. We then have the Spanish in the 1500´s and subsequently the French, German and Chinese. The chinese were expelled in the 30´s.(1930). The most popular name in the phone book is Lizarraga. So, in the sierras we have native mexicans, then the cities is a mixture, primarily mestizo, then the elite which usually have a high percentage european blood. Mazatlan, in the winter has a high percentage of Americans and Canadians. Sample quality here is really essential as you said!! Finally, as you say our TMRCA estimates are ¨fluffy¨. I still go along with Zhiv as a starting point, but it is argumentative and hard to fully justify. we shall see.

McG said...

I am writing from Mazatlan. It is anything but typical (whatever that means). It was originally all indio of different tribes, mostly the Totomis, I believe. We then have the Spanish in the 1500´s and subsequently the French, German and Chinese. The chinese were expelled in the 30´s.(1930). The most popular name in the phone book is Lizarraga. So, in the sierras we have native mexicans, then the cities is a mixture, primarily mestizo, then the elite which usually have a high percentage european blood. Mazatlan, in the winter has a high percentage of Americans and Canadians. Sample quality here is really essential as you said!! Finally, as you say our TMRCA estimates are ¨fluffy¨. I still go along with Zhiv as a starting point, but it is argumentative and hard to fully justify. we shall see.

Afriqash said...

So we repeat until the toys of this age catch up with reality: that settlement in southern europe that mattered were cushtic of which clearly the ancients in greece recognized like lost child in search of its real parents and to which the genetic makeup of the people of the balkans continue to show in no small way. That human civilization has one source and only one, wether its indus, egyptian, sumerian etc., are branches, its been the uninamous proclamation of every ancient civilization, that cushtic people are their forerunners in civilization, I will qoute from the diverse ancient literatures if need be. No other ancient culture has full testimony...it may sound like a boast, but I really say this with utmost restraint that reaches of cushtic culture and its longevity baffles the mind, a true miracle if there was ever one. The evidence is clear despite the deliberate venom of the one-eyed machine. What is under the sand and off the coast of the sahara needs exploration with due diligence, it will bear fruit.

Afriqash said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/google/4731313/Google-Ocean-Has-Atlantis-been-found-off-Africa.html

Maju said...

Just a mapping artifact: just finding something that someone thinks "looks like a city" is meaningless until more is found. Plato's narration doesn't say that Atlantis sunk, just that there was a catstrophe (like a tsunami) and the city was apparently destroyed. Still I do agree that North African and African in general archaeology needs a big push and all new knowledge is welcome. But let's not hype what is still nothing but blurred data.

Also: what do you mean by "Cushitic"? Such tag refers to a subfamily of Afroasiatic spoken in the Horn of Africa. It seems to have little relation with Greece or NW Africa. It's possible that Afroasiatic language/culture as a whole could have been central in the evolution of agriculture and civilization but Cushitic is just a branch of it and doesn't seem particularly related to the developements in the Levant (whch would have been if anything related to proto-Semitic or something like that).

The core area of early Neolithic was West Asia in any case and probably implied several linguistic families (Sumerian for instance doesn't relate solidly to anything know, though I suspect is a distant cousin of Hurro-Urartean and NE Caucasian). While the Mesolithic of the Levant might be culturally (and to some extent biologically) related to Africa, the one of the Zagros is most directly related to Eastern Europe. Both cores, as well as southern Anatolia and and even other areas maybe, participated in the Neolithic revolution. It cannot be attributed to a single culture in my opinion.

Afriqash said...

Maju:

Forget about nw africa and ancient greece the megalithic stone cultures of cold europe are cushtic built if they have astronomical value or cushtic inspired if they are imitations. The cushitic people live today in the horn of africa, there are people groups like the tauregs, and the aswan region of egypt which I include in this category. They are the original people of north africa, long-lived in every sense of the word, they are the forefathers of the todays cushitic peoples and partially of the mediterrenean peoples in europe, north africa, middle easterners or the near east and the bantu africans and they are there forefurreners in civilization, not partially in this case but fully. So if u want to discuss ancients that are obsecure, the megalithic culture, the sea people, sumer, indus civilization I will prove to u by the evidence of our detractors hostile to those they consider the "other" or who refuse to bend-over to their constructed narrative.

Afriqash said...

Btw, without the cushtic peoples at the centre the those trying reconstruct human history will forever continue to chase their tale, and I am not using the term linguistically, but rather using it for the people ignorantly referred to as mixed that everyone knows occupy today parts of the sahara and much of the sahel

Afriqash said...

I just re-read ur comment, semitic people are prodigious offspring of cushtic culture, and with advent of abrahamic line they rightfully occupied and were willingly given the keys to kingdom, infact they became the essence of cushtic society, their influence on todays cushtic people very important and one of the pillars of cushtic society in the recent and in the future but this relationship of another realm

Onur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Afriqash said...

ancient egypt was not mixed originally but became mixed they were cushtic people along with the kushites to their south and puntites to their east and pastoralist medjah in their vicinity.

Onur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Afriqash said...

One additional comment on semites they are culturally and linguistically a cushite by product and the monothiest abrahamic line was pure and simple the original essence of cushites, this is why moses found refuge among the desert cushites, married from them, schooled and developed spiritually among and found his first followers, the first nation to follow jesus were the cushites the minister of kandake first foriegner to be baptise, and the first nation to accept islam again was the horn of africa while mecca was still fighting the prophet, we even beared testimony to the prophethood of the budha (we have the books to prove it) because it was not new to us but as old as our forbearers, the gods of hindus were really cushtic saints, so were the pantheons of the mediterrenean. In spiritual affaires we consider no one foriegner, providence has always been cushite and never did we not recognize it not...but that is a different stuff of a different realm

Afriqash said...

Onur,

They were as mixed as a somali, and that was the point I was trying to make, ancient egypt became a melting pot and u can see that in today's population, the averag fellah several degrees lighter than people of the horn and much more west african in their features then us. But the ruling lineage were cushites and the priesthood, same goes for the kushites. The anointers and spiritual head in the cushtic hierarchy was punt. Ancient egypt was the problem child indeed because of its size and mixture but would see invasions from the punt medjay and kush if it lost its spiritual footing. Punt and Medjay were in a fluid state of co-existence and members moved back and forth from civilization to pastoralism, no rigid political state but of the order of the spirit. Punt and Medjay was in addition connected to the sea and maritime trade inaddition to their stoic hold to cushtic culture, ascetic lifestyle and mystical wisdom they ruled the sea and the trade their kingdom was the oceans and every ancient ruler wether far or near was their absolute tributary in the sea.

Afriqash said...

Onur,

All humans are mixed, no clan, nation, race or continent is 'pure', I don't even know what this purity is since all humans are of one origin and therefore each lineage and person is pure lol. But when ancient men are singled out as mixed by children, and ancient men I mean continuity, because 9000 year old figure painted in the sahara or thoth on ancient walls of egypt both carrying the stick we call 'hangool' the same stick I carry in my hometown as i sit in a cafe and browse the internet, u see I and my forebearers are separated by only the dimension of time, I know what they are doing exactly in those paintings, I know what the practical uses for that tool is, its symbolism and its many layers of meaning. So when mere children, in that same sense, talk about us being mixed, and we hear this from ignorant folks both africans and non-africans, then I must insist to give them a jolt of reality and proclaim yes we are all mixed but cushites in the sense of thoroughbred and our detractors in the sense of quilt of rags lol

Onur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Onur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maju said...

Forget about nw africa and ancient greece the megalithic stone cultures of cold europe are cushtic

What Cushitic?

... there are people groups like the tauregs, and the aswan region of egypt which I include in this category.

What kind of category is that one? It's 100% invented by you. Tuareg language is not Cushitic but Berber.

I am not using the term linguistically, but rather using it for the people ignorantly referred to as mixed that everyone knows occupy today parts of the sahara and much of the sahel

I don't believe in racial categories. But I believe in things than make sense and your discourse does not. You make up words, giving them your arbitrary meaning, and hope people to follow your discourse?

I just re-read ur comment, semitic people are prodigious offspring of cushtic culture, and with advent of abrahamic line they rightfully occupied and were willingly given the keys to kingdom

This is the kind of mythological nonsense that I just hate. If you believe in any kind of god or demon, pleas keep it out of scientific discussions, thanks.

...

Hey, what is wrong with being mixed? Ancient Egyptians and Indians were also mixed (to a degree), and both created marvelous artifacts and a sublime culture.

Absolutely everybody is mixed, except clones. Sex is admixing, life is a cocktail shaker.

ancient egypt was not mixed originally but became mixed they were cushtic people along with the kushites to their south and puntites to their east and pastoralist medjah in their vicinity.

They were mixed: everybody is and Egypt was getting influences forth and back from North and East Africa and from West Asia all along the ages.

Racism is the same shit wether it's made by whites or blacks or whatever.

Afriqash said...

Maju:

Listen berber and cushtic languages are related and the cushtic people language is older, I am not inventing anything these people were at one point one as attested to by geography, culture, language, and genetic. Even if u deny that then one influenced the other, in that case cushtic peoples are more diverse by every measure u want to use and much older.

You call what my statement regarding cushite-semitic, but I gave u an honest answer that is supported by history and I did say its an issue of a different realm. U must know spiritual past of people is important part of there history, eventhough even if it does not agreed with your refined taste lol. In anycase my response was necessitated by your question, I am sure u were referring to the natufian of the levant and I gave u better answer lol because not everyone subscribes to a neat step-wise ascend of human civilization, its nonsense. The only way to study history is multidisciplinary training of every scientist and diversity in perspective and background that can achieve broad consensus. When all u have is a hammer everything looks like nail. I see good bench work often and then even simple common sense lacking in interpretation, very few are even aware of their handicaps, among them very few can step outside the scaffolding laid down for them, even if they muster such talent "the agenda" of dominant culture today, the politics and academic hierarchy require certain conformity. So may I suggest atleast to have tolerance for the response, even if its not the kind u pride yourself in. We are not the once building web of lies and I have no particular need to invent history, although occasionally its healthy for all involved to simply cry the emperor has no clothes. The grueling task of explaining away the facts in front of our eyes is for the magicians of western academia.

Maju, r u saying that by countering the argument that people of the horn and the sahel are mixed for diabolical ends is racist?

one final point, ur reponse to my megalithic claim what cushtics? reminded me of a cover on science news magazine that said "what mean these cushitic stones", referring to the megalithic site created by the cushitic people when they moved into the area around lake turkana around 300 bc, google namotarunga stones and the borana calender for which they are correlator, megalithism have real meaning in cushitic society, where ever they visited or migrated to they built this correlators, as the calender lost its religious, horoscopic functions the need for such observatories became un necessary, dolmens, and cairns continued to be used by cushitic people no matter their faith, and stone circle graves continue to this date neither religion nor modernism has dampened it to a great extent. Perhaps u can provide me such continuity to megalithism in anyother culture, so let's hear ur perspective on these points once u have read my points and googled a lit

Afriqash said...

onur,

So is it the 'caucasiod' that have cushitic features or the cushites that have caucasian features? How do u suppose we have caucasian lineages? We all see what these line of arguments mean and the truth is its not unorthodox but mainstay in academics.

Afriqash said...

1. The population in northeast africa is clearly conidered.
2. Afro-asiatic language likely originated from them
3. The haplogroups they carry also originated with them
4. They look exactly like their ancient counterparts on their ancients monuments, even to the point of fashion and dress.

So on a relative scale we are least mixed.

Afriqash said...

1. Should read that the population in the northeast of africa is said to be old enough to be considered one of the parent branches of humanity

Maju said...

berber and cushtic languages are related

Yes they are, along with Semitic, ancient Egyptian, Chadic languages and some others. It is called Afroasiatic.

and the cushtic people language is older

This is uncertain. The mainstream consensus, based on the spread of AA languages historcally and some archaoelogy suggest an origin in the Nile area, either lower Sudan or Upper Egypt. There's no particular reason to say this or that branch is "older": all are equally old: they are all branches of the same tree. The structure of the AA tree is nevertheless disputed (happens the same with Indo-European - linguistics is a slippery science).

I am not inventing anything...

You are saying things that make little sense in the context of what we know about Afroasiatic languages and peoples. Even if the origin would be in the Cushitic area (The Horn), which is not too likely, calling some AA languages Cushitic as you do is totally arbitrary.

Even if u deny that then one influenced the other, in that case cushtic peoples are more diverse by every measure u want to use and much older.

What I deny is your extended and ambiguous usage of the term "Cushitic" to include some AA languages (apparently as I come to understand better what you say, the old and disproven "Hamitic family") and not others. It's arguable but very possible that Berber, ancient Egyptian and Semitic form a branch within Afroasitic, that would have gone divided since spread from Upper Egypt in the Mesolithic probably. There's no particular reason I know to argue that Berber is closer to Cushitic than to Semitic.

Maju, r u saying that by countering the argument that people of the horn and the sahel are mixed for diabolical ends is racist?

Sorry, I missed the comment (if any) that said that. What I understand is that people who insist in the purity of races is normally racist, in one way or another. I don't care if they are Swedes or Ethiopians.

What I say is that such purity is unreal and surely undesirable. Even the most isolated populations have some admixture. Admixture is normal (and probably beneficial).

Perhaps u can provide me such continuity to megalithism in anyother culture, so let's hear ur perspective on these points once u have read my points and googled a lit

I have researched Megalithism(s) to some extent and I have come to understand that there are different criss-crossed phenomena.

The archetypical European (and also in many other places, especially North Africa and later with offshots in parts of Asia and some spots of sud-Saharan Africa) Megalithism is what I call more properly Dolmenism: "collective" (clanic) burial in trilithons (dolmens), with or without entrance corridor; it seems to have arisen in early Neolithic southern Portugal (which does not certainly exclude totally a possible Berber influence), expanded through Atlantic Europe in the 4th milennium BCE and in the Western Mediterranean in the 3rd milennium.

There are other monuments called megaliths (with good reason) that belong to different classes:

- Stone rings: the oldest seem to be in Egypt (Nabta Playa) and West Asia (arguably Golbeki Tepe, which would be the oldest one if confirmed). They appear in very different cultural contexts and in all sizes (huge like Stonehenge or tiny like Pyrenean cromlechs)
- Tholoi: used as homes/stores in West Asia and Cyprus, are found much later in Iberia (3rd milennium BCE) as tombs and later in Greece, where they got their modern name.
- Henges and rondels: they seem to originate in the Danubian Neolithic culture of Central Europe.
- Carved tombs (artificial caves): not sure of their origin but they became relatively common in Chalcolithic SW Europe, alternatively to tholoi.
- Other: menhirs (standing stones), allignements, hypogeums, nuraghi/motillas etc. - each type with their own problematic

One could well argue that tumuli/kurgans, pyramids, etc. could also fit the description of megaliths. Nevertheless my understanding of the phenomenon emphasizes a cultural area usually called Megalithic but more properly decribed as Dolmenic that once extended by nearly all Western Europe and Western Mediterranean. Domenic cultures are also found farther east (even as far as Korea) at later dates but the connection is tenuous (I tend to read this late expansion in terms of religious expression of some sort).

So is it the 'caucasiod' that have cushitic features or the cushites that have caucasian features?

Probably both. Notice that the concept of race basically seems to mean a population that is somewhat homogenous and "inbred" (in the wide sense of the term). Racial purity does not exist and, in any case, you see African lineages in Europe and West Asian or maybe even European lineages in sud-Sahdaran Africa. The diversity in Africa is immense (but seldom isolated) and also includes lineages back-migrated from Eurasia.

1. Should read that the population in the northeast of africa is said to be old enough to be considered one of the parent branches of humanity

That is most probably true. But it does not mean it has not absorbed also "back-migrating" peoples at later dates. There is clear presence of some clearly Eurasian lineages in sud-saharan Africa and particularly in The Horn.

2. Afro-asiatic language likely originated from them

NE Africa? Yes.

3. The haplogroups they carry also originated with them

Some are clearly back-flows (Y-DNA R1b, J; mtDNA M, U6). This is a blank statement I cannot agree with.

4. They look exactly like their ancient counterparts on their ancients monuments, even to the point of fashion and dress.

Maybe. They are a variegated group anyhow. I fail to see how Mubarak and Haile Selassie look alike for instance, though in other cases the comparison may be easier to make.

I met online certain Ethiopian who argued that "Horners" would seem to harbour all human types (from a black "Nordic" to an equally dark "Mongolian", passing by many other curious examples). What was not fully clear is wether this was because of them being "ancestral" (so to say) to humankind as a whole or rather because having incorporated peoples of many different origins, or both.

Onur said...

onur,

So is it the 'caucasiod' that have cushitic features or the cushites that have caucasian features? How do u suppose we have caucasian lineages? We all see what these line of arguments mean and the truth is its not unorthodox but mainstay in academics.


People of the horn have some caucasoid-specific lineages as a result of back migrations. On the other hand, caucasoids hava very limited negroid-specific lineages due to geographical barriers like the Sahara Desert and Red Sea. I tend to see people of the horn as a very admixed population. They are the Central Asians of Africa.

sardiniankid said...

if italians are the most diverse.. then specifically what part of italy woud be least diverse? and what part of italy is the most diverse! southern italy? is sardinia diverse?