The paper is also quite exciting as it includes samples of Greeks from the vicinity of Smyrna and Phocaia, the first, as far as I know published samples of Greek men from Asia Minor. I do find, however, somewhat bizarre the use of Anatolian Greeks as the putative ancestors of the colonization of the West Mediterranean and of Anatolian Turks as the supposed representatives of the Neolithic population (Table 1). The claim that the latest Anatolian population stratum (Turks) can be linked to its earliest (Neolithic-era Anatolians) is rather suspect.
UPDATE I (Mar 15)
The authors claim:
This high frequency ofhaplogroup J2a-Page55 (formerly DYS413≤ 18) in Smyrna is characteristic of non Greek Anatolia.
This claim is based entirely on the authors' limited Balkan Greek samples. An inspection of more Greek samples shows that DYS413 less or equal to 18 occurs at higher frequencies both in Crete, but also several mainland sites (Serrai, Larisa, Patrai) spanning the entire country. Hence, I believe that the claim that J2a-Page55 distinguishes Greeks from non-Greeks is spurious.
UPDATE II (Mar 15)
The authors cite the "Phoenician" paper:
Previous Y-chromosome genetic studies of Phoenician colonization have demonstrated that haplogroup J2 frequency was amplified in regions containing the Phoenician colonies of Iberia and North Africa in comparison to areas not containing Phoenician colonies My scathing criticism of that paper, and the specific "Phoenician" association with J2 can be found here.
UPDATE III (Mar 15)
The authors make a big deal of the presumed relationship of Phocaea with Ionians and of Smyrna with Ionian/Aeolians. As I have mentioned before, it is a hard sell to think that two sites right next to each other, inhabited by people who had no ethnic or religious distinction for more than 2,000 years (any tribal Greek identities had disappeared by ancient times) managed to retain, nonetheless distinctive gene pools from each other over that time span that can be traced to archaic Greek tribal distinctions.
UPDATE (Mar 17)
The above-mentioned nitpicks do not, however, detract from the paper's thesis. So, it's worth repeating a few of the things on which this thesis is supported:
- We have new Greek population samples from Asia Minor that show E-V13 frequencies well within the regional variation of mainland Greece, and higher than in the Turkish Anatolian population. This disproves the theory that E-V13 may have been introduced to the mainland Greek population recently from Albanians, Thracians, and other bizarre theories advocated by some, as these would not have affected substantially the Greeks of West Asia Minor.
- It should be noted however, that E-V13 frequencies vary substantially among Greek populations. This seems consistent with my theory of its Bronze Age "heroic" origin, as late lineages are expected to have non-homogeneous frequency distributions.
- The Corsican evidence is consistent with the Greek origin of E-V13 due to the higher frequency of E-V13 around the colony of Alalia (4.6% East Corsica vs. 1.6% in West Corsica).
- The absence of I-M423 in Provence precludes a substantial contribution to the Provencal population by Balkan populations north of Greece where I-M423 reaches a higher frequency.
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:69doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-69
The coming of the Greeks to Provence and Corsica: Y-chromosome models of archaic Greek colonization of the western Mediterranean
Roy J King et al.
The process of Greek colonization of the Central and Western Mediterranean during the Archaic and Classical Eras has been understudied from the perspective of population genetics. To investigate the Y chromosomal demography of Greek colonization in the Western Mediterranean, Y-chromosome data consisting of 29 YSNPs and 37 YSTRs were compared from 51 subjects from Provence, 56 subjects from Smyrna and 31 subjects whose paternal ancestry derives from Asia Minor Phokaia, the ancestral embarkation port to the 6th century BCE Greek colonies of Massalia (Marseilles) and Alalie (Aleria, Corsica).
19% of the Phokaian and 12% of the Smyrnian representatives were derived for haplogroup E-V13, characteristic of the Greek and Balkan mainland, while 4% of the Provencal, 4.6% of West Corsican and 1.6% of East Corsican samples were derived for E-V13. An admixture analysis estimated that 17% of the Y-chromosomes of Provence may be attributed to Greek colonization. Using putative Neolithic Anatolian lineages: J2a-dys445=6, G2a-M406 and J2a1b1-M92 the data predict a 0% Neolithic contribution to Provence from Anatolia. Estimates of colonial Greek vs. indigenous Celto-Ligurian demography predict a maximum of a 10% Greek contribution, suggesting a Greek male elite-dominant input into the Iron Age Provence population.
Given the origin of viniculture in Provence is ascribed to Massalia, these results suggest that E-V13 may trace the demographic and socio-cultural impact of Greek colonization in Mediterranean Europe, a contribution that appears to be considerably larger than that of a Neolithic pioneer colonization.