April 21, 2009

In search of Bronze Age metal prospectors


A post in the GENEALOGY-DNA-L gives some additional information from the scientists working on this:
We are following up on the Weale study (Mol. Biol. Evol. 19(7):1008-1021. 2002) which reported a much higher than average number of E3b individuals in
Abergele. We are interested in the possibility that these may be linked to
the Bronze age copper mines nearby, but obviously this is just one
possibility. The first step is to see if we can replicate the findings of
the 2002 study in a much larger sample.
The 2002 study had found a high frequency of HG21 in Abergele. It will be interesting to see which subclade of E3b (or E1b1b in the updated terminology) the NW Wales men belong to. If they do belong to E-V13, then this would be consistent with a Bronze Age origin, although this would be difficult to distinguish from other scenaria, e.g., the arrival of this haplogroup with the Romans.

Also of interest: The Litoroid Race in the Bronze Age.

DNA test to prove Bronze Age link
Men are needed for DNA tests to prove their distant ancestors moved from the Mediterranean to north west Wales as migrant workers 4,000 years ago.


Researchers at the University of Sheffield hope to link the migration of men in the Bronze Age to the discovery of copper.

The metal was found at both Parys Mountain on Anglesey, and on the Great Orme at Llandudno, Conwy.

The researchers are building on previous work carried out in the area which found a much higher-than-average presence of a DNA marker that is commonly found in people from the Balkans and Spain.


n/a said...


n/a said...

"The 2002 study had found a high frequency of HG21 in Abergele."

Correction: the study found a high frequency of HG21 in a sample of 18 Y chromosomes from Abergele.

There is zero evidence for "Mediterranean prospectors" in Britain and the BBC article is utterly-retarded, irresponsible sensationalism. Notice how much more subdued the researcher is in the email.

RE: the absurd Lundman article: Seafaring Armenoids in Northern Europe?

Dienekes said...

>> Correction: the study found a high frequency of HG21 in a sample of 18 Y chromosomes from Abergele.

95% C.I. of 17.3-64.3%, which is significantly higher than the presence of the haplogroup in the other studied populations.

Maju said...

If it is E3b2 (old nomenclature but the North African clade in any case), it would have a likely origin in West Iberia and arrived probably within the cultural phenomenon of Dolmenic Megalithism (late Neolithic or Chalcolithic, depending on who you read).

If it is E3b1 (the Balcanic clade) it might be indeed related to the Atlantic Bronze economical area and could have arrived ultimately from Greece, IMO, but via Iberia in any case, where it has relatively high concentration in the Levant (most closely connected to Greece possibly along late Prehistory) and the NW (a most important tin mining area where an E1b1b founder effect, both clades, is very apparent).

Check this Dienekes' post for reference.

n/a said...

"95% C.I. of 17.3-64.3%"

Assuming the sample is representative and does not, e.g., contain multiple men who are closely related. Even then there would still be a 1/20 chance the actual population percentage of this haplogroup falls outside the 95% confidence interval. Considering there are multiple haplogroups and multiple samples, it becomes quite probable that some frequencies will fall outside 95% confidence ranges.

But even if frequencies of E3b prove to be "significantly" elevated in Abergele, genetic drift is a vastly more plausible explanation than "Mediterranean prospectors" arriving 4000 years ago and having their Y chromosomes conveniently remain highly concentrated in one location across the intervening millennia.