March 01, 2013

Genomewide diversity in the Levant (Haber et al. 2013)

Razib points me to a new paper (and its associated data, consisting of Christian, Druze, and Muslim Lebanese).


Genome-Wide Diversity in the Levant Reveals Recent Structuring by Culture

Marc Haber et al.

The Levant is a region in the Near East with an impressive record of continuous human existence and major cultural developments since the Paleolithic period. Genetic and archeological studies present solid evidence placing the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula as the first stepping-stone outside Africa. There is, however, little understanding of demographic changes in the Middle East, particularly the Levant, after the first Out-of-Africa expansion and how the Levantine peoples relate genetically to each other and to their neighbors. In this study we analyze more than 500,000 genome-wide SNPs in 1,341 new samples from the Levant and compare them to samples from 48 populations worldwide. Our results show recent genetic stratifications in the Levant are driven by the religious affiliations of the populations within the region. Cultural changes within the last two millennia appear to have facilitated/maintained admixture between culturally similar populations from the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, and Africa. The same cultural changes seem to have resulted in genetic isolation of other groups by limiting admixture with culturally different neighboring populations. Consequently, Levant populations today fall into two main groups: one sharing more genetic characteristics with modern-day Europeans and Central Asians, and the other with closer genetic affinities to other Middle Easterners and Africans. Finally, we identify a putative Levantine ancestral component that diverged from other Middle Easterners ~23,700–15,500 years ago during the last glacial period, and diverged from Europeans ~15,900–9,100 years ago between the last glacial warming and the start of the Neolithic.

Link

51 comments:

  1. On the map, a Syrian sample between Turkish and Iranian caught my attention, this individual might have Kurdish origin. while the other Syrians fall into the Levant cluster.

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  2. Gee,
    Is like all my wishes come true.
    A giant step in helping our understanding of the Iberian converso phenomena.
    Cultural/Tribal/Religious and Geographic and Genetic factors processed and plotted in a simple to understand way.
    I only wish Spencer Wells added something about the Phoenicians there.

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  3. What is even more striking is that Jewish poulations people are closer related to the Lebanese than the Palestinians. It seems almost if the Palestinians did not absorb any Jewish populations.

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  4. if these conclusions are indeed correct, that it is highly interesting that cultural differences can in fact lead to, and be associated with, genetic differentiation.

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  5. I think the history of the south Levant is more complex then the explanation Islamic expansion, because the southerly regions of the Levant and the bordering Sinai are known to be ruled by Semitic nomads and ethnic Arabs long before the rise of Islam what is quite interesting in an Afroasiatic context.

    The Arabs in Antiquity: Their History from the Assyrians to the Umayyads

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  6. If somehow known migrations are added, say 25, 20, 10 to 13, 4 to 6, 0.5 to 2, centuries’ ago, like Phoenician, Jewish, Moorish, Byzantine, European Expansion and recent times’, a new a whole new idea on how to see history, and culture (even finance) will be disclosed.
    A good example would be to trace the Jews (and Conversos) that got finally to be accepted in England 400 years ago, and finally became denizens (after being expelled in XIIIth century).

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  7. Yes, fascinating indeed! It seems, as one person noted, that contemporary Jewish samples are closest to populations of the northern coastal Levant as far south as the Druze who also life along the coast (Carmel) and in Lebanon. Perhaps, the Levantine archaeological idea that the Israelites were formed in part from disaffected Late Bronze Age Canaanites is not far from the truth. Also the autosomal dichotomy clearly is reflected in our Y chromosome ideas of J2a-M410 being frequent in high rainfall areas and J1e-P58 being amplified in frequency in low rainfall areas of the Near East and Arabian Peninsula

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  8. @ Roy
    " autosomal dichotomy clearly is reflected in our Y chromosome ideas of J2a-M410 being frequent in high rainfall areas and J1e-P58 being autosomal dichotomy clearly is reflected in our Y chromosome ideas of J2a-M410 being frequent in high rainfall areas and J1e-P58 being amplified"

    Yep. But also what else underlies this ?

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  9. I find it interesting that Libanese Christians are like Jews of Druze and Libanese Moslems are like Syrians.

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  10. mr. Know When; Roy King:

    The modern Izraeli Jewish population is not really suitable to say anything about inter-Levant population connections in the past. Lebanese are closer to Europeans than Palestinians and Jews are closer to them, because most of them back-migrants from Europe and they have European admixture.

    Probably the Lebanese Druze and Christian populations changed the least in the last 2 millenia (less Arab admixture), but we do not know if they were typical for the entire levant to begin with.

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  11. Looks to me as if both natural and man made environments drive social behavior, which then commands genetic mutations. Perhaps that is how everything else evolves, but with the distinction of the Levant being the ultimate enigma on Earth, where due to its being the bridge between Africa, Asia and Europe, it continues to experience the most social change and with it, genetic mutations?

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  12. @Slumbery
    "Lebanese are closer to Europeans than Palestinians and Jews are closer to them, because most of them back-migrants from Europe and they have European admixture."

    You know this statement is totally speculative, right?

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  13. Just curious Hoe can levant has continuous human existence?. and major cultural developments?.

    From OOA there was initial Arabian Oasis. After that it is all back migration.
    Human herds moved to greener pastures of Europe and Asia. Europe and Asia has more continuous existence genetically. Even culturally also compared to Egypt, Greece and South Asia, Levant is a non existent outpost and what is it's contribution to civilization?.

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  14. ...the Levant being the ultimate enigma on Earth, where due to its being the bridge between Africa, Asia and Europe, it continues to experience the most social change and with it, genetic mutations?

    Fizooli,

    Remember that the vast majority of SNP differences ("mutations") between populations is from whatever those population inherited from progenitor groups and what those lost due to drift, starting tens of thousands of years ago.

    Southern Arabs are different from Northern Levantine because (i) they were rather different and separate populations during LGM, (ii) the former have significant African admixture, and (iii) the latter have significant European and West Asian admixture (in fact, at the beginning of the neolithic, they may just have been one of the several closely-related Anatolian/ West Asian populations).

    Finally, it is obvious that modern Jews largely are not derived from people who at one time lived in Palestine.

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  15. @ Slumberry

    I am aware of the admixture but I'm not sure if this explains all of it, even Muslim Lebanese are not closely related to the Palestinians...so even if Lebanese have crusader ancestry or more recent, why is there still a big gap between those two groups.

    But who knows maybe Palestinians share with Jewish populations some particular DNA that is unique for Israel. But since this graph was only designed to show global geograpical trends, who can tell?

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  16. "Levant is a non existent outpost and what is it's contribution to civilization?"

    The Religions of 2/3 of the world population maybe.

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  17. Blender

    What do you mean? Do you think the European admixture of the European Jews is simple speculation? Actually the other way would be much more surprising and speculative. They spent here a very long time, even for an "isolated" population. Or do you know actual reserach results that contradict this?
    Just compare the different Jew populations here: http://dodecad.blogspot.hu/2012/10/globe13-calculator.html and you will see how much more European are the Ashkenazi Jews compared to the Middle Eastern groups. (The traditional ME gropups, not the modern population of Izrael of course.)
    Also I red other articles with the same results.


    mr. Know When

    It is possible that this is not the whole explanation, the other side can be what I said about Lebanese being closer to the 2ky ago population.
    Now, this is an actual speculation, but I think Palestinians are not really the straight descendands of the ancient non-Jew local population of the area, so they do not have strong genetical bonds with the Jews from that time. Also the last 100 year was not enough to mix them (religion strongly slow down the process).

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  18. Fanty is right.

    That is the only reason Levant gets more focus in genetic research.
    otherwise no genetic and historic contribution.

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  19. With regard to Jewish populations, I remember reading an article (by what appears to be a Jewish/ Israeli author) which essentially proposed that Jews are actually Proselytes to Judaism of a 'genetically' Italian origin. The presence of J2 had been a 'red herring' which people simply assumed to 'prove' their middle eastern origin, a J2 which rather could be of Italian (or general European Mediterranean) origin which grew in their sub-population due to drift etc. Autosomally, he found them to be more related to Europeans than other middle Eastern populations.

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  20. @Slumbery,
    Your "because" is what is totally speculative. The first statement (an observation of the proximity of populations on the PCA) is an observation from the paper. The second statement (about the population history of Jews) is related to studies independent of this. The connexion between both ideas is yours, and in lack of any further supporting evidence, the attribution of the PCA pattern to the known process is speculative.
    I hope my remark is clearer now.

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  21. I find it interesting that so many are desperate to place the Jews outside the ME...When if the Jews are that closely related to both Druze populations, the Lebanese, and the Cypriots...then they are obviously not terribly foreign-derived. One can very reasonably presume that the original Canaanites were more similar to the modern Lebanese and Druze than any other populations...that includes the "Palestinians".

    The reason why the Cypriots are so closely related to the Northern Levantine populations is quite simply a matter of history. Cyprus/ Alashiya has had long contact with that region of the ME dating back to Ugarit (a NW Semitic polity) in the written record, but likely starting even before then. The Phoenicians were next in colonizing that island...at least the eastern parts. Cyprus/ Alashiya had trade contacts as far east as Akkad and Sumer.

    The Canaanites occupied the more northerly parts of Canaan down as far as Jerusalem and it's surroundings. The population thinned out south of Jerusalem. Among the Canaanites were Hurrians and Anatolian Indo-Europeans as well (Northern ME populations).

    It is a well-known fact of history that there were several depopulations, movements, and replacements of Canaanitic peoples from that region during the Assyrian, Babylonian, Hellenistic, and Roman eras. Many Canaanite populations fail to be recollected, especially, after the Babylonian conquest. The Phoenicians largely escaped being replaced, moved, or depopulated, though, they lost their language and culture. The genetically very closely related Amorites and Aramaens also escaped this (who may have in fact been the same people...we do not rightly know, however, there are some tantalizing clues) also escaped this.

    The Nabateans moved into the area inhabited by the Edomites (a Canaanitic people, later known as Idumaeans during the Hellenistic and Roman Eras) and established a strong trade polity. The Nabateans were, essentially, North Arabians who came to dominate the local Canaanitic population. Their language was likely that of the Old/ Ancient North Arabian type. Trade through that region and population movements are likely what caused the Palestinians as a whole to be divergent from the other Levantines. The Syrians are also affected by this, but to a lesser degree. The breakaway Palmyrene Empire drew trade away from Nabatea as the trading power of Nabatea waned under Rome.

    History attests to the depopulations, replacements, and movements of peoples. There were Romans and Greeks who lived in the Levant during the Hellenitic and Roman eras. The Philistines were likely of Aegean origin and later mostly absorbed by the Jews. These movements, especially, from Arabia and surrounding lands, continued well into the modern era reinforcing the genetics of the previous movements. We must also consider the genetic impact of the Crusaders.

    That is why you see the differences between the north and south in the Levant.

    This is but a snapshot of the history of the region...not intended to be exhaustive.

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  22. I think ultimately the southern Levant stands strong in a consecutive historical Middle-Eastern/Afro-Asiatic context.

    If indeed Jewish populations absorbed coastal populations is questionable, the city state of Gaza for instance was pagan and anti Jewish & Christian throughout history till they were forced to convert to Christianity in 407 A.D.

    Marnas
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagon

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  23. Some of the comments on this posting serve to self demonstrate the need of a better understanding of the Levantine genetic and memetic contribution to our culture and the world. Something that was blacked out by the Greco-Roman cannon adopted in the occident after the dark ages.

    IMPORTANT OBSERVATION: Nobody has noticed that we are talking here about culturally segregationist human groups. Whose customs prevailed until today in not so rare a case.

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  24. Hi, Creative!

    Been a long time, haha

    I am quite certain that the Philistines fail to be mentioned after the Babylonian conquest. All the sources I checked pretty much agree with that. All of them follow the line of the Philistines being completely absorbed or assimilated (by Canaanitic culture and language). One can reasonably presume that there was a great deal of intermixing (Jews are known to do that despite Biblical prohibitions). There were many Jews in Gaza before and after the conquest, especially, after (the Aegean element never more than half of it's population) and it is no secret that Jews had a tendency to worship "foreign" gods. You read that throughout the Bible and in extra-Biblical sources. We must also take into account that not all Jews left Israel at that time long after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. Many Jews followed Christianity at that time also.

    The "Marna/s" you mention in your link seems to have been associated with a Cretan deity, a type of Hellenistic Dagon. The etymology of Marna/s seems to be firmly Semitic (Aramaic) though referring to a Cretan deity. I read a source about how Marna/s was associated with the Arabs of that day.

    I have found no source that says that Gaza was anti-Jewish. In fact, the opposite. The Jewish presence in Gaza is well-attested through ancient times. In fact, in the 4th century (301AD/ CE to 400AD/ CE), Gaza served as the primary port of commerce for the Jews of the Holy Land. Also, a 6th (501AD/ CE to 600AD/ CE) century mosaic from a large synagogue was found on the seashore in Gaza. A direct attestation to the "sizeable" Jewish population of that region.

    The Christians were a presence since Christianity's earliest days...not much welcome, but they were there.

    As an unrelated side note, I should have also mentioned the long Egyptian presence in the Levant in my first post. A presence that extended into modern times. Also the long time Aegean connection to the ME.

    To bring this back around to the topic at hand, the Jews SHOULD clearly evince some relation to the Italians and Greeks...the Southern Italians have plentiful Greek ancestry and it can be extended to even central Italy...Lazio (where Rome is). The populations of Greece and the Aegean have had a long history of contact with the ME. Since we know that...why do people want to say that Jews are Italians and Greeks??? There where not many converts to Judaism from Greece or Italy because of the strength of Christianity in those places. Since Constantine, the rights of the Jews were greatly restricted.
    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/jews-romanlaw.asp

    We need to be much less simplistic because the history of the Jews is not so simplistic. Beyond the Jews, the history of the ME is not so simplistic.

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  25. The Gaza synagogue was a Byzantine period synagogue. The largest and oldest mosque in Gaza is actually the former temple of Dagon/Marnas. And depending on the viewpoint, still is.
    Indeed, Gaza was at the end of the Arabian spice road so naturally everyone and especially Nabataeans and Arabs had a vital interest in Gaza as a seaport.Even Herodotus mentions a city called Jenysus “Khan Yunis “ (near Gaza) that was ruled by Arabian Kings.

    By Herodotus Written 440 B.C.E
    Book III
    Thalia
    http://classics.mit.edu/Herodotus/history.3.iii.html
    Now the only entrance into Egypt is by this desert: the country from Phoenicia to the borders of the city Cadytis belongs to the people called the Palaestine Syrians; from Cadytis, which it appears to me is a city almost as large as Sardis, the marts upon the coast till you reach Jenysus are the Arabian king's; after Jenysus the Syrians again come in, and extend to Lake Serbonis, near the place where Mount Casius juts out into the sea. At Lake Serbonis, where the tale goes that Typhon hid himself, Egypt begins. Now the whole tract between Jenysus on the one side, and Lake Serbonis and Mount Casius on the other, and this is no small space, being as much as three days' journey, is a dry desert without a drop of water.

    Seriously, if one leaves modern day geopolitical issues aside it is truly surprising to see how deeply Semitic nomadic pastoralists are interwoven with the history of the southern Levant. Which makes me wonder about later Aramaic and Arabic speaking groups of Pre-Islamic Arabia and their relation to the original Hebrews. Especially regarding YHWH and his Midian north Arabian connection.

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  26. Levantine jews settled in the roman empire including North-Africa, Italy, France etc. There was conversion and admixture with local people during the first centuries. Later, because of massive expulsions many Jews (called Ashkenazim) moved from France to central Europe and east Europe where they mixed with Jews from the Khazar empire including Caucasian Jews (north Caucase was part of the Empire). My hypothesis is that the Altaic component (Asian Turks) was maybe very low among Khazars, there was more Caucasians or Iranians among them.

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  27. @ Slumberry

    "but I think Palestinians are not really the straight descendants of the ancient non-Jew local population of the area, so they do not have strong genetic bonds with the Jews from that time."

    Exactly, that is the implication that I find so astonishing.

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  28. Hi, Creative!

    Modern day geopolitics in the region is very, very messy. Don't want to get into that.

    Also, I was not arguing who had the biggest temples...just showing that the Jews had an ancient and "sizable" presence there. The Jews, for a time, ruled over Gaza (or at least part it) in the very late BCE era under the Hasmoneans.

    I am in complete agreement with you about the southern Levant. The North Arabian Arabs via Nabatea made Gaza quite wealthy...many of them lived there also. So we should expect to see genetic contributions from the North Arabian Arabs, but also from Northern Egypt. I wish Egypt had been part of this study. I think Northern Egyptians were more similar to northern Levantines than to southern ones. Southern Egyptians would be more similar to Arabians and NE Africans, both with a pull toward the Berbers or Arabized Berbers of the Maghreb.

    About the origins of Yah, the Kenite Hypothesis is an interesting tack...but it raises some problems and questions.

    The relationship between Hebrew and Aramaic is pretty straightforward. Hebrew is, linguistically, a first cousin to Aramaic and more of a second cousin to Ancient North Arabian. We know that the Aramaeans had long contact with the North Arabians because names found in some Ancient North Arabian inscriptions are of Aramaic derivation. We also know that the Nabateans were Aramaic speakers and then almost seemlessly transitioned to a North Arabian language as more North Arabians moved in that region and influenced the language. A cursive form of the Nabatean script later developed into Arabic script. We also know that North Arabians lived as far north as Syria as attested from from epigraphic South Arabian inscriptions and "graffiti" (Safaitic...of 3 varieties) used to write Ancient North Arabian languages. I think the Itureans, known as J/Yetur in the Bible (quite possibly North Arabian) lived that far north.

    To me, it is quite clear that there is a northern Levantine component in the Palestians, but it is admixed with North Arabians as would explain the Palestinians being intermediate between north Levantines and North Arabians, but closer to the North Arabians because of historical Pre-Islamic and post-Islamic conquest movements that we mentioned earlier. I also think it may depend on which Palestinians you test. Just like with the Jews...there is some variation within the population.

    Again, we agree on the southern Levant.

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  29. There is some confusion among the commenters of this thread on the linguistic landscape of North Arabia. North Arabia has never been an Aramaic-speaking region. Aramaic was only the written language there, the spoken language being Arabic. The Arabic writing developed only a few centuries prior to Islam, and it was exclusively used for writing short and simple inscriptions and taking notes, high culture writings such as books, letters, legal writings and monumental inscriptions remaining to be exclusively written in Aramaic, prior to Islam (the Quran is probably the first book written in Arabic). Nabataeans were Arab, spoke Arabic, and used Aramaic only for writing or to communicate with the Aramaic-speaking foreigners to their north.

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  30. "but I think Palestinians are not really the straight descendants of the ancient non-Jew local population of the area, so they do not have strong genetic bonds with the Jews from that time."

    This (if I understand correctly) presumes that (i) ancient Jews would in the PCA analysis fall were modern Jews are now, and (ii) the ancient non-Jew local population was similar to where modern Jews now are.

    In reality, modern Palestinians cluster with Syrians and Jordanians, as expected - a southern group not only related to southern Arabs, but also to Iraqis.

    On the other hand, Jews cluster with non-Muslim Lebanese and Cypriots and are in-between Muslim Lebanese and Caucasians and SE Europeans, as expected.

    IMO this shows that modern Jews, apart from their recent European admixture, are mostly related to ancient northern coastal Levantines (and likely, people of the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey), decedents of the Anatolian Neolithic, and that ancient Jews might have been mostly, as well, regardless their Semitic language.

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  31. Hello, Onur!

    Rereading statements and I didn't read where it said that Aramaic was spoken in North Arabia to the exclusion of Old North Arabian or that North Arabia was an Aramaic speaking region.

    There is confusion, but it is not on the part of the commentators.

    What was said was that there was contact (linguistic, trade and commerce) between Aramaic speakers and North Arabians. There are Aramaic names attested in some North Arabian inscriptions. That did not say that Aramaic was the language of North Arabia. The Nabateans were likely from the Hejaz region and spoke some form of North Arabian. The Aramaic language in the region developed locally which means there had to have already been Aramaic speakers in the region (the, aforementioned, Idumaens...those who were not assimilated by the Jews and those who did not become refugees in Egypt) when Nabateans came in and later overwhelmed them. Given that Idumea was conquered by the Jews during the Hasmonean dynasty , there may have been a minority of Hebrew speakers there also.

    As for the rest of what you said about the Nabatean script...I already said that.

    So, again, if there is confusion, it is not on the part of the commentators.

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  32. Rereading statements and I didn't read where it said that Aramaic was spoken in North Arabia to the exclusion of Old North Arabian or that North Arabia was an Aramaic speaking region.

    There is confusion, but it is not on the part of the commentators.


    AdygheChabadi, are you sure?

    Creative said*:

    "Which makes me wonder about later Aramaic and Arabic speaking groups of Pre-Islamic Arabia and their relation to the original Hebrews."

    You said*:

    "We also know that the Nabateans were Aramaic speakers and then almost seemlessly transitioned to a North Arabian language as more North Arabians moved in that region and influenced the language."

    * All emphases are mine.

    Nabataeans were never Aramaic speakers beyond as a second language. Their mother tongue and daily spoken language was Arabic.

    The Aramaic language in the region developed locally which means there had to have already been Aramaic speakers in the region (the, aforementioned, Idumaens...those who were not assimilated by the Jews and those who did not become refugees in Egypt) when Nabateans came in and later overwhelmed them.

    You are wrong. We don't have any evidence of North Arabia ever being an Aramaic-speaking land, some northern parts of it were once Canaanite-speaking (e.g., Idumaeans a.k.a Edomites, who were Canaanite-speaking, not Aramaic-speaking) before switching to Arabic already during pre-Islamic times, but no evidence of ever being Aramaic-speaking. Nabataeans wrote in Aramaic because by that time Aramaic had become the lingua franca and most widely spoken language in the Levant and Mesopotamia and, as I explained in my previous post, Arabic was not a written language yet.

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  33. (Part 1)

    Hi, Onur!

    Okay, it is on and popping...challenge accepted. You challenged the queen and now she is going to show you why she is the boss.

    At an earlier time, like the Jews, the Edomites/ Idumeans spoke a form of Canaanitic. Under the rule of the Babylonians, the Edomites/ Idumeans began to adopted Aramaic. How do we know this? Hebrew had already died as an everyday language by the time the Babylonian Captivity ended sometime in the late 500's BCE. Furthermore, the Edomites/ Idumeans were invaded and annexed by the Babylonians, under the reign of Nabonidus in 553 BCE, perhaps as a retaliation for Edomite/ Idumean looting incursions into Judea. The Jews were still in exile at that point and would be for another 15 years. During that time the Edomites/ Idumeans moved into the Northern Negev perhaps because of pressure from the incoming North Arabians (Nabateans) and under the influence from the Aramaic speaking Jews became Aramaic speakers themselves. The Babylonians themselves lost their Akkadian tongue sometime earlier under the rule of the Neo-Assyrians. By the time the Babylonians were able to free themselves from Assyria, in the later decades of the 600's BCE, Aramaic was already the everyday spoken language in there. The Neo-Assyrians made Aramaic one of the two official languages of the empire...the other being Akkadian. At the fall of Assyria, the Babylonians acquired the Neo-Assyrian territories by default.

    Already by the 4th century BCE (the period of Persian dominance) Aramaic was quite prevalent in Edom/ Idumaea. We know this because of the vast number of Aramaic ostraca found in Idumean territory. We also know the ethnic composition, to a great degree, of the territory because of the names on the Ostraca. Of the approximately 1300 names identifiied so far, 32% are Arab, 27% are Idumean, 25% are "West Semitic", 10% are Judean, 5% are Phoenician, and 1% are various other smaller ethnicities. My earlier statement about Jews being in the Edomite/ Idumean territory is proven here. There is further evidence of Aramaic being spoken in Edomite/ Idumean territory in a paper by Tania Notarius of Hebrew University named, "?q(n) 'wood' in the Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea: A Note on the Reflex of Proto-Semitic /*s/ in Imperial Aramaic" of which the abstract states: "A new spelling of the Aramaic lexeme 'wood' has been revealed. The note deals with the paleographic, orthographic, phonetic and phonemic implications of this spelling. It is claimed that in Idumean Aramaic of the fourth century BCE the reflex of the Proto-Semitic lateral fricative emphatic was realized as pharyngeal approximant ayin, what brought to the dissimilation of the first of two pharyngeals in this lexeme." (Italic emphasis is mine throughout). Furthermore, in the book, "Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia" edited by Roger D. Woodard and publish in 2008 by Cambridge University Press, M.C.A MacDonald (a foremost authority on Ancient North Arabian) states in Chapter 8 (entitled, “Ancient North Arabian”), on page 191, in section 3.1.3 (entitled, "Emphatics") : "In Nabatean, native Aramaic words, show the cognate of North Arabian /ḍ/ as /ʼ/ (/ʕ/) (e.g., Nabatean ʼr ՙ ՚ against Safaitic ʼrḍ “earth, land”), as is normal from Imperial Aramaic onward.” (Italic emphasis is mine throughout).

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  34. (Part 2)

    Still furthermore, Wikipedia (which I hate citing because of article errors, but this one is well-cited) states, “The language of the Nabataean inscriptions, attested from the 2nd century BCE, shows a local development of the Aramaic language, which had ceased to have super-regional importance after the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire (330 BC). The Nabataean alphabet itself also developed out of the Aramaic alphabet. This Aramaic dialect was increasingly affected by the Arabic dialect of the local population. From the 4th century, the Arabic influence becomes overwhelming, in a way that it may be said the Nabataean language shifted seamlessly from Aramaic to Arabic. The Arabic alphabet itself developed out of cursive variants of the Nabataean script in the 5th century. It is strange, I said the same thing.

    Furthermore, the Jews conquered Edom/ Idumea under the Hasmoneans. The Jews forced the Edomites/ Idumeans to convert to the Jewish faith. By the time of the Hasmoneans, the Jews would have been Aramaic speakers for many centuries. King Herod, the Roman client king of Judea, was born to an Edomite/ Idumean father and Nabatean mother. It is known that by the time of Herod "the Great" Aramaic was widely spoken in Edom/ Idumea by the "Judenized" Edomites/ Idumeans who were forcibly converted by the Jews under the Hasmoneans...those that did not become refugees in Egypt. As a matter of fact, Herod like many Edomites/ Idumeans considered himself Jewish, though the Pharisee did not see him as such.

    What do we know about Edomite/ Idumean territory? We know that it encompassed what became the heart of the Nabatean Empire. Petra was in the eastern part of Edom/ Idumea. We know that a part Edom/ Idumea became part of Judea...along with Samaria. The more southern and eastern parts became part of the heartland of the Nabatean Empire.

    So, I AM CORRECT in saying that the Edomites/ Idumeans who stayed in their homeland spoke Aramaic and that it became more and more influenced over time by North Arabian so much so that it seemlessly transitioned into full North Arabian later. Also, as implied by M.C.A. MacDonald (a foremost authority of North Arabian), there are native Aramaic words in Nabatean. (Facetiously) I wonder where these “native” Aramaic words came from.

    Again, it was never said that North Arabia was Aramaic speaking. I said there are Aramaic names in SOME North Arabian inscriptions which means that there were some Arameans that were among the North Arabians because of trade or otherwise. Furthermore, one of the Kings of Qedar, whose capital was centered on Adummatu/ Dumah, was named Hazael…an Aramaic name. He was either North Arabian with an Aramaic name or an actual Aramean.

    As can be seen, you are the one in gross error.

    Onur, never argue with a girl…you will always be wrong.

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  35. AdygheChabadi,

    Two questions:

    What evidence do you have that non-Judaized Edomites ever spoke Aramaic as the mother tongue?

    What evidence do you have that Nabataeans ever spoke Aramaic as the mother tongue?

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  36. Hi, Onur!

    Both questions were answered in all of my rather comprehensive comments.

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  37. Edomites (by Edomites I mean the non-Judaized ones) kept writing in the Edomite language (a Canaanite language) until being Arabized by Nabataeans. If, as you claim, Edomites were linguistically Aramized before being Arabized, then why did they keep writing in an insignificant language such as Edomite until being Arabized rather than switching to writing in Aramaic? After Arabization, they began to write - but only write, not speak - in Aramaic, just like Nabataeans.

    Nabataeans and the other cultured pre-Islamic Northern Arabs wrote in Aramaic while speaking in Arabic, because they had lacked any writing before Aramaic became the lingua franca in the norhern Semitic world. Edomites, OTOH, had already had writing.

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  38. Hi, Onur!

    You are persistent...We have hashed this out already. If the Nabateans had no writing then why are there North Arabian inscriptions in epigraphic South Arabian found all over what is now Northern Saudi Arabia all the way up into Syria and as far west as the "Sinai" and as far south and east as historical Al-Bahryn which includes the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula down to the borders of Oman, and also includes the island of Awal (modern-day Bahrain). If the Nabateans were part of that dialectical continuum, then how can you say they did not have a written language. Those inscriptions came from someone. In fact, the Nabateans are always associated with the people of Qedar as allies or relatives. Even in the Assyrian records this is done. So it is quite possible Qedar and the Nabatu spoke the same dialect of Old North Arabian. But, here is a quandry for you...in the Assyrian annals, the Nabatu/ Nabatayu are listed as Arameans, not Aribi/ Arabs. By the way, Arabs used the word "nabatu" to denote Arameans. However, it is not true that were actually Aramean...more likely they were "true" Arabs (we know that because of onomastics) that had been strongly influenced by the Arameans. They spell their names in sightly different ways which suggest that they may not have all been of one tribe or people. Also, a Nabatu people are mentioned in southern Arabia.

    As far as the Edomite language is concerned...(see below)

    Witionary:
    Edomite (plural Edomites)

    (biblical) A person descended from Esau (Edom)

    A Canaanite Semitic language spoken by the Edomites in southwestern Jordan in the first millennium BCE, extinct from the 6th century BCE. (emphasis mine)

    If there is something I will amend, it will be my statement on their (the Nabateans) origins. They may have not originated in the Hejaz but farther north (modern eastern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia) along with Qedar. This is also reflective of modern scholarships confusion over their origins (the Nabateans).

    Again, the evidence is not in your theory's favor.

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  39. Hi, Adyghe,

    Actually, North Arabians acquired the Aramaic alphabet (to write in Aramaic) and the South Arabian alphabet (to write in Arabic, or more correctly, Ancient North Arabian) almost concurrently. But, like I said previously, writing in the North Arabian varieties (first with the South Arabian alphabet, later with the predecessor of the Arabic alphabet) was pretty limited and mostly reserved for writings of lower culture.

    As for the Edomites, you have yet to demonstrate that they ever spoke Aramaic as mother tongue.

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  40. Hi, Onur!

    We have simply hijacked this thread with this discussion...Dienekes has been quite tolerant.

    I agree with you about the concurrent adoptions of Epigraphic South Arabian and Aramaic scripts among North Arabians.

    As for the Edomites, I said it all before. The Edomites gave up their Canaanitic language for Aramaic. The evidence is presented rather clearly in my previous posts. Edomite became extinct in the 6th Century BCE.

    Just accept that you were wrong so this can end.

    Sorry for the typos in my previous post...did it in a hurry.

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  41. Hi, Adyghe,

    I read in an academic book (via Google Books) about the existence of an inscription written in the Edomite language from the Hellenistic times, but can't remember which book it is. If I find the reference, I will gladly share it with you. I would not hesitate to admit that I was wrong if I really thought that I was wrong.

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  42. Sorry for the late answers, I was a bit distracted from this blog.

    Blender
    This speculation can explain a part of the pattern. A good working hypothesis until it is either proven or disproven.
    (BTW, I just did not understand why you picked out my comment, most of the comments in this entire blog are speculations and this is not so bad thing.)

    Eurologist
    "This (if I understand correctly) presumes that (i) ancient Jews would in the PCA analysis fall were modern Jews are now, and (ii) the ancient non-Jew local population was similar to where modern Jews now are."

    I did not say this, neither I think this is implied by my statement. All I assumed that there had to be admixture between ancient Jews and ancient non-Jews, so they had to be closer to each other that modern Jews and Palestinians. On this PCA chart they are actally very far, without any overlap even between outlying samples. This suggest that the Palestinians do not have majority ancestry from a population that got Jew admixture (ancient non-Jews).

    "IMO this shows that modern Jews, apart from their recent European admixture, are mostly related to ancient northern coastal Levantines (and likely, people of the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey), decedents of the Anatolian Neolithic, and that ancient Jews might have been mostly, as well, regardless their Semitic language. "

    Exactly.
    Exept that the Syrians do not cluster with Palestinians so clearly, they seem to be very diverse in this sample.

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  43. Hi, Onur!

    I think the thing you were talking about is in this link?
    http://books.google.com/books?id=leQtcmpcQ-EC&pg=PA545&lpg=PA545&dq=edomite+language&source=bl&ots=IVvdrNDSK1&sig=faHT206mO-8gzv5iZ3rZs6ILpiQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fDhIUfa0AYPi4AOkhIHoAg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwATge#v=onepage&q=edomite%20language&f=false

    I think you will find this link informative and helpful:
    http://mushecht.haifa.ac.il/catalogues/Nabateans/Joseph_Naveh.pdf

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  44. @ Dr Rob

    This was at the tip of my mind, having read it somewhere on Dienekes site, that is that autosomally Italians were related to Spaniards and Askenazi Jews and then third to Greeks.

    It's almost like the Catholic church might have been correct in their anxiety that people where leaving the Church and converting to Judiasm...

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  45. Hi, Tror Billy!

    It is not that the Italians were converting to Judaism...It was Jews being forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. There are Crypto-Jews ("hidden" Jews) in the Italian population, not many...but they are there. Also, there were merchants and workers/ slaves from the Levant that lived in Italy also due to the Roman Empire's very cosmopolitan nature. There was just lots of contact between Rome and the Levant...hard to quantify it. When and how it got there and why. I think much of it comes from Greece and the Greeks though, given Greece's proximity to the Levant and to Italy and because we know of the Greeks having had established well-known colonies (Magna Graecia) in Italy. Also we must not ever fail to mention the possible autosomal genetic impact of the Etruscans if indeed they were from Anatolia. The many of the great ancient civilizations were quite mobile obviously.

    Also I agree with much of what the other commentors said. The Palestinians do not seem to be of the Northern Levantine derivation overall, but they are not entirely of Arabian extract either. So there is some Northern Levantine admixture there, apparently small, but significant enough to keep them from being entirely Arabian.

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  46. @ AdygheChabi

    I understand that is one of the theories out there. That would probably explode and over amplify the Judiac population. I don't doubt that "some" forced conversion occured. However at every turn it seems that "forced conversions" as the default answer. The previous study showed a connection with Askenazi Jews not Sephardic...anyways I think there's something mysterious there to be explored. Perhaps, another theory of legionares in the outskirts of Europe? Europeans in newly Muslim conquered territory choosing Judiasm vs. Islam? A reverse Schindler's list? Romans taking Judiac wives? False historical memories, i.e. groups self identifying and then being used in studies...?

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  47. I just found this from another study regarding the Italian/EEJ connection ...in the conclusion "The close genetic resemblance to Italians accords with the historical presumption that Ashkenazi Jews started their migrations across Europe in Italy and with historical evidence that conversion to Judaism was common in ancient Rome. The reasons for the discrepancy between the biparental markers and the uniparental markers are discussed. " Found in the research "The origin of Eastern European Jews revealed by autosomal, sex chromosomal and mtDNA polymorphisms" Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin

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  48. I think the thing you were talking about is in this link?
    http://books.google.com/books?id=leQtcmpcQ-EC&pg=PA545&lpg=PA545&dq=edomite+language&source=bl&ots=IVvdrNDSK1&sig=faHT206mO-8gzv5iZ3rZs6ILpiQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fDhIUfa0AYPi4AOkhIHoAg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwATge#v=onepage&q=edomite%20language&f=false


    Yes it is.

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  49. Hi, Tror Billy!

    I think there is a tendency to engage in fantastical theorization at times by people. When simple explanations tend to fit much better. I think this happens with the Jews and the origins of the groups subsumed there in. I think we tend to overestimate the conversion of non-Jews to Judaism. Certainly and obviously conversions happened, but not at all massively.

    The Jews are overall, much more related to the northern Levantine populations than to Italians. There were plenty of other related northern Levantine populations that were very much a presence in the Roman Empire. They would have migrated to Italy and Rome proper for whatever reason...by force or otherwise. We must not forget that the Eastern Roman Empire was centered in Byzantium/ Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), so there was obvious exchange between the eastern empire and it's western counterpart. I still think the Greeks and their non-Greek predecessors/ ancestors (Minoans, Tyrsenians/ Tyrrhenians, Anatolians, and whatever), through the Greeks, had far more genetic impact on Italy and indeed Rome itself than any other population. The impact of the Greeks, if not genetically, is linguistically and culturally is extremely well-evidenced from that time all over that part of the world. We must also consider the impact of the Etruscans who may have influenced the Romans, at least culturally, more than the Greeks. If the Etruscans did indeed come from Anatolia, they had to have had some degree of genetic impact on the populations they colonized. We must not discount the impact of the Phoenicians (ancestral to the modern Lebanese and, thus, related strongly genetically and linguistically to the Jews) either. They established colonies all around the Mediterranean rim. And going way, way back in time, the spread of the Neolithic from Anatolia and the Near East to Italy and it's genetic impact on populations already present.

    So I think the relation of Italians to the Jews is a result population movements from Greece and the Near East from the Neolithic down to the present day. Among those population movements during the time of the Roman Empire from the eastern Mediterranean was a comparatively small contingent of Jews.

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  50. Exactly.
    Exept that the Syrians do not cluster with Palestinians so clearly, they seem to be very diverse in this sample.


    Slumbery,

    I agree, of course.

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  51. Wait, what? Ashkenazi jews didn't come from france, but from 'scythia' east of crimea. The French expulsion was centuries later.

    And they are a distinct ethnicity with some unique genetics. It's really the small area of rhineland that could be called ashkenazi, not every single jew in europe east of spain and west of russia as seems to have become popular usage.

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