October 08, 2013

Ashkenazi Jewish matrilineages mainly of European origin

From the paper:
If we allow for the possibility that K1a9 and N1b2 might have a Near Eastern source, then we can estimate the overall fraction of European maternal ancestry at ~65%. Given the strength of the case for even these founders having a European source, however, our best estimate is to assign ~81% of Ashkenazi lineages to a European source, ~8% to the Near East and ~1% further to the east in Asia, with ~10% remaining ambiguous (Fig. 10; Supplementary Table S9). Thus at least two-thirds and most likely more than four-fifths of Ashkenazi maternal lineages have a European ancestry.
Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2543 doi:10.1038/ncomms3543

A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages 

Marta D. Costa et al.

The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history.

Link

50 comments:

apostateimpressions said...

Wow, Judaism is passed through the female line. Jews are considered real Jews only if their mother and her mother etc. were Jewish.

Only 8% of Ashkenazi trace their mothers to the near east, which implies that at least 90% of them are technically not really Jews. Indeed it is likely that not all near eastern maternal lines present in Ashkenazi originated from Jews.

Ashkenazi make up 85% of the world's Jews, so how many Jews really qualify as Jews?

AN make up 35% of Jews in Israel yet they are politically dominant. Ironically Israel is a dual ethnic state in which a minority, that possesses mainly European maternal lines, dominates over the mass of Jews. Politically it is an Ashkenazi state.

About Time said...

There is a chicken-or-egg question here that can only be resolved by looking at the phylogenic depth of the YDNA/mtDNA lineages shared between modern Ashkenazi Jewish and modern European and Middle Eastern populations.

Otherwise, the most you can really say is that such and such % of mtDNA lines are Jewish+Mideastern or Jewish+European. You still don't know if ancestral Jewish relatives were absorbed by European and/or Middle Eastern populations long ago.

As far as conversions go, there is a difference between an assimilated person (now or in the Roman Empire) rediscovering their Jewishness and a total stranger finding a path to Judaism. One can mean new mixture, the other might or might not.

Nobody seems to have asked what happened to the pre-Muslim Jewish communities of Arabia in the middle ages. Yathrib aka Medina was a big Jewish city, for instance, before the Battle of Khaybar etc. Some people converted, sure, but others probably looked for a safe haven. Near the Black Sea?

There seem to be some strange notions floating around about these things, but it all goes back to a chicken and egg question of unknown antiquity.

More could be said but, in essence: We all might as well find out the truth in these matters.

andrew said...

While the abstract states the matter more clearly, the notion of "prehistoric Ashkenazi" roots would be an oxymoron. Ashkenazi ethnogenesis takes place mostly post-70 CE, in the historic era, as the Jewish diaspora into Europe begins, and involves one of the most literate populations of the late Roman and Medieval eras.

The most striking aspect of the story is how much Jewish tradition and the historical record of such a literate people has managed to mask non-Levantine introgression into a society in which membership is formally defined maternally, despite the fact that the community has profoundly de-emphasized conversion. The extent to which this managed to remain hidden undermines the general assumption that tradition is more accurate in the historic era than in the era of oral traditions.

One wonders if this "cover up" was contemporaneous (which would seem difficult to manage if there was really that much introgression at the time of ethnogenesis), or was manufactured after the fact in purges of the historic record designed to assuage later political concerns that Jewish conversions could threaten Christian supremacy in the post-conversion era. A threatened Christian establishment (e.g. from Jewish conversion removing significant numbers of their rare literate subjects) would be more prone to initiate a pogrom to maintain that supremacy than one who felt the the Jewish community was harmless to their ability to maintain power.

mregdna said...

It seems to fit well with the theory of the french historian Ester Benbassa.

AdygheChabadi said...

Well, duh! It did not take science to tell me what is easily seen, hahaha

I am a Jew by the way.

I guess they had to give it genetic support.

Onur said...

Since when is Judaism a maternally inherited religion (at least in principle)? As far as I know, such a rule did not exist in Judaism during the Antiquity. So it might be a later addition from medieval times.



Achaean said...

Ironically, the most "Jewish" of the Israeli Jews are the Sfaradi and the Mizrahi Jews, the latter of whom are often widely discriminated against in Israel. There is also offensive Israeli slang for them. The women they call "Freha" (pl Frehot?) and the men "Ars" plural "Arsim". So ironic. The true blood descendants of the original Jews are semi-outcasts in Israel today and are often considered "morons by default" and "backward" by the European or US Ashkenazim.

Joshua Lipson said...

How did consensus swing so sharply? 80% appears quite high.

Jewish from Kiev said...

Interested in the T1 Mtdna line. 23andme says I belong to that particular group. It is found all over the place from Siberia to N.Africa. Perhaps it's a very old line that got around in prehistory and appears in similar proportions in all European/Mid-Eastern groups.

Onur said...

Ironically, the most "Jewish" of the Israeli Jews are the Sfaradi and the Mizrahi Jews

I'd say non-Yemenite Mizrahi Jews only, and not necessarily all sub-groups of non-Yemenite Mizrahi Jews. Sephardic Jews (including Moroccan Jews) are significantly Southern European-descended.

About Time said...

Perhaps someone could explain, step by step, exactly how this study disproves that modern Ashkenazim are descendants of the geneas of the ancient Judeans.

I am confused by that intepretation. Why would modern Jews have Middle Eastern mtDNA? The Arabs themselves say they are descended from Jewish ancestors on the paternal line only, via Ishmael.

For those who say this mtDNA shows late Roman origins, why such idiosyncratic haplotype patterns?

Many seem to assume that the Ashkenazim cannot be descended from Judeans because they tend to be light pigmented (arguably as fair on average as other Western Europeans). But can't the same argument be made against late Roman origins? Clearly the modernist assumption that light skin, hair, and eye color were always exclusive to Europe is open to question.

http://biblewindows.com/strongsnum/hebrew/119.htm. Adom means "to be red." Does that mean red as in ruddy or rosy, or red as in earth colored?

There are many ancient burials in Israel, Lebanon, Syria that date to the time of ancient Judea and long before. Only ancient DNA can tell us what these populations were like.

John said...

Judaism reached the peak of its expansion in the years prior to the 66 CE revolt. Salo Baron, in his monumental A Social and Religious History of the Jews, points out that the Jews - comprising as many as 10 percent of the Western Roman empire and 20 percent of the Eastern Roman empire. So studying the descendants of the 10% shows that they were European how is this surprising?

GailT said...

If you read the paper and the supplemental materials, it shows that the conclusions are based on a simplistic and very dubious phylogeographic analysis. I don't think these finding will hold up to a more rigorous analysis, and I agree that ancient DNA is needed to supplement the analysis of modern population distributions.

apostateimpressions said...

There seems to be an assumption that these women were "converts" to the Jewish religion. The women were hidden from history so there certainly is no record of their conversion. The OT records how Jews married women from other nations and incorporated their "heathen" ways and how Jahway turned against them and abandoned them in punishment and, I think, how they later purged themselves of heathen religious influences. It is quite conceivable that something similar happened in Rome and after.

Rome was polytheist and religiously tolerant before Constantine. Christianity was seen as an intolerant monotheistic sect that was militantly committed to conversion and refused to participate in the state or the army and that is why Rome "persecuted" Christianity. In that pluralist tolerant climate, the Jews may have assimilated and married Roman women without demanding their conversion. They may have received women, maybe slaves, as a reward for their help in some scheme or other with the Romans. We really dont know what happened. It could have been centuries later that a religious reform insisted upon religious uniformity.

It is all speculation, so one can engage one's imagination.

Kepler said...

If you want to look for those closest to the ancient Judeans you have to look at Palestinians: they are mostly people who have lived in that area since Canaanite times (the Jews being simply a Canaanite group that took over monotheism, as Israel Finkelstein shows).
Most of those Jews converted to Christianity and later to Islam. Those who had to flee after the destruction of Jerusalem plus previous Jewish settlers in Italy and elsewhere in the Roman Empire were apparently mostly men. And they got European women and mixed.

It was in the III century that the Mishnah started to compel this "Jewish through the mother" view, which is quite curious and very unlike in previous centuries (remember several stories in the Old Testament like that of Ruth). So: very likely the Mishnah was a reaction to so many Jews taking non-Jewish wives.

Bill Lipton said...

In the 2011 book, "Grandpa Was A Deity" the yDNA line is traced -- one point made is that the woman did not accompany the men (as cited in Exodus where local virgins are taken into the tribes). The DNA of the Ashkenazi-Levites mirrors the India Brahman... and that is consistent with Josephus claiming an Indian origin for the Hebrews (and for Peleg).
The Hasidim -- who are a relatively recent Jewish group -- violate scriptural tradition by following the female line, rather than the Patriarchs. Thus it is expected that the mtDNA for the Ashkenazi would be weighted toward the European. Based on some comments, the real issue would be the male and female DNA of the Hasidim (a study which they would presumably oppose because it would show little if any connection to Israel or Levite and Kohanim lines).

Onur said...

There are many ancient burials in Israel, Lebanon, Syria that date to the time of ancient Judea and long before. Only ancient DNA can tell us what these populations were like.

You do not need to look at the genetics of the ancient Judean Jews to understand the substantial European origin of European Jews. Just look at the genetics of present-day Mizrahi (=West Asian) Jews and you will understand.

pconroy said...

@JewishFromKiev,

I'm Irish and mtDNA T1a1, and have had my entire mtDNA sequenced, and have a lot of exact matches, including many from Western Ukraine, who are 100% Jewish...

My mtDNA line traces back to the French Huguenots.

On automsomal analysis by 23andMe, I have some Jewish relatives in Belarus and Bulgaria and a smattering in Russia. I also have Jewish relatives in South Africa and Argentina. More interestingly I have relatives in the Hispano/Converso Jewish community in New Mexico, Mexico and Guatemala, and think that this might mean that i have a small amount of Sephardic Jewish ancestry from the 1550's, when Portuguese Jews settled in some of the port cities of Ireland and were heavily involved in the wine trade between Iberia and Ireland/Britain.

Matt said...

It does not appear that my own mtdna haplogroup -- W1h -- was included in this study. This is somewhat disappointing on a personal level, because I have been attempting for years to get a better sense of the ultimate origins of this haplogroup. Currently, it's found almost exclusively among Ashkenazim, but apparently it has also shown up among such groups as Italians, Saudi Arabians, and Polish Roma. I wonder how many more Ashkenazi mtdna haplogroups were overlooked by the authors of this study.

AWood said...

@Onur,

That's a pretty biased take on things. So only western jews are susceptible to admixture? I find it funny that people are so critical of Israel, meanwhile the alleged 'locals' have tons of foreign ancestry within the last 2000 years, and probably more.

Onur said...

That's a pretty biased take on things. So only western jews are susceptible to admixture? I find it funny that people are so critical of Israel, meanwhile the alleged 'locals' have tons of foreign ancestry within the last 2000 years, and probably more.

Stop misrepresenting my words. I have never said only European Jews admixed with non-Jews. All Jewish communities mixed with non-Jews to varying degrees, but those who have stayed close to the Jewish homeland all along mixed with non-Jews who are genetically close to the original Jews and thus have stayed genetically the closest to the original Jews among all existing Jewish communities. Is it so hard to understand this simple fact?

__ ROB __ said...

Isn't it more plausible that the closely related European non-Ashkenazi lineages in that study once were Jewish women which converted to Christianity? If you compare the Ashkenazi lineages only with these lineages you could of course state that the Ashkenazi lineages are closest related to "European" and not Mid Eastern lineages. But that would be a misinterpretation...

PS: The Y-DNA lineages of Ashkenazi Jews are much more clearly of Mid Eastern origin.

terryt said...

"Isn't it more plausible that the closely related European non-Ashkenazi lineages in that study once were Jewish women which converted to Christianity?"

Not unless you're going to claim virtually all of Europe was Jewish before it became Christian.

"The Y-DNA lineages of Ashkenazi Jews are much more clearly of Mid Eastern origin".

Yes. That fits exactly with the main claim of the paper: 'Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history'.

"Why would modern Jews have Middle Eastern mtDNA?"

If they had originally come from the Middle East surely we would expect them to have at least some Middle Eastern genetic trace. It seems they do have, but mostly in the form of Y-DNA. Onur sums it up precisely:

"All Jewish communities mixed with non-Jews to varying degrees, but those who have stayed close to the Jewish homeland all along mixed with non-Jews who are genetically close to the original Jews and thus have stayed genetically the closest to the original Jews among all existing Jewish communities".

As he adds:

"Is it so hard to understand this simple fact?"

apostateimpressions said...

"PS: The Y-DNA lineages of Ashkenazi Jews are much more clearly of Mid Eastern origin."

Yes most the AN Y lines are likely of ME origin however that does not mean that the Y lines reflect original Jewish ancestry.

Jews are all supposed to descend from a single man, Jacob and his 12 sons and finally just two of those, Judah and Levi. So the original Jewish population would be characterised by a single Y group. But the studies show that modern Jews have varied Y lines. According to Hammer 2009, no Y line makes up over 17% of AN Jews. E1b1b1c (M123) and J1 or J* (12f2b) are each 17% of the total. Earlier studies have similar results. So we may conclude that no more than 17% of AN Jewish Y lines descend from the original Jews.

At least 83% of the Y lines were assimilated. Indeed, the real figure may be higher: if people from Y groups different to Jacob could assimilate then likely persons of the same Y group could also have "converted". It may be that less than 5% of Y lines come from the original Jews.

Indeed there is no proof that _any_ of the Y lines in AN Jews descend directly from Jacob. Many people assimilated out of Judaism through the millennia - and there have been several severe founder effects. If Y lines from Jacob were a small minority then it is quite conceivable that they were entirely eliminated.

So it is possible that some slight proportion of AN Y lines come from Jacob but there is really no proof.

With regard to AN Mt lines, only 10% have been shown to descend from the ME but that does not prove that AN Jews have 10% ancestry from the original Jews. We know that most of the Mt lines were assimilated in Europe, especially Italy but we also know that the general Italian population contains ME Mt lines. Moreover it is very likely that the Jews assimilated women before they ventured into Europe. The OT talks about it. So it may be that even smaller fraction of Mt lines come from the original Jews, maybe 2% if any.

So it may be that only a tiny proportion of AN lines, male or female, descend from original Jews. Similar arguments can be made with regard to Sephardi Jews. It seems that Jewish identity deconstructs rather more thoroughly than most. Likely they have less ancestry from the original Jews than the modern "Taino". http://dienekes.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/taino-are-extinct.html The difference between Jews and Taino is that Jews seem to have maintained a constant, if varied identity. It relies on a founder myth and some, if varied, religious continuity. Indeed modern Talmudic Judaism is very different from OT Judaism, as different as is Christianity. The founder myth seems central. It is like when people say that the British descend from the Trojans: there may be a grain of truth in that but no more than a grain.

It may be that E1b1b1a (M78) represents the original line from Jacob. That would fit with the Afro-Asiatic nature of Semitic languages? Then the original Jews may be better characterised as an Afro-Asiatic population rather than a ME population. The Afro-Asiatic Jews assimilated in the ME to form what we now think of as the ME section of Jewish ancestry. The original Jews may have been something between Saudis and Ethiopians. It may be that the "African" component in Jews represents the contribution from the original Jews. The black Ethiopian Jews may be closer to the original jews.

But that is all speculation, we have no way of knowing what an original Jew would have been like genetically, the facts are long lost under the shifting sands.

apostateimpressions said...

Sorry, I dont know how E1b1b1a (M78) got in the text, I meant to again insert E1b1b1c (M123) but whatever, no one really knows what Y group Jacob belonged to.

terryt said...

"It may be that E1b1b1a (M78) [E1b1b1c (M123)] represents the original line from Jacob".

Surely it is far more likely that the 'founder myth' was composed to create cohesion and unity amoung a regional population during King Josiah's stand against the Babylonians.

apostateimpressions said...

T, I agree with you that Jacob is likely a myth. All religions have lots of myths.

I wonder whether anyone has developed any computer models to estimate the likelihood of the genes of a single man surviving, among millions of ancestors, after thousands of years, given drift, mixture, bottleknecks etc.

Even if we assume that Jacob lived, what are the chances that any of his genes survived, descended from him, after all this time?

Even if a few genes did survive from Jacob, they would be a miniscule proportion of modern Jewish genes.

Did Jacob have certain special genes that only Jews now have in common with him? Likely they have received no genes from Jacob and they have some genes in common with him because those genes were common.

Presumably other peoples would also contain some of the same genes as Jacob. He was not an alien, he was a man with most genes in common with his neighbours. Indeed likely other peoples would have more of the same genes as Jacob: there is no reason to assume that Jews have more genes in common with Jacob than do other peoples, especially AN Jews.

The Jewish connection to Jacob seems extremely tenuous even if we assume that he existed. The belief that he has any living descendents is a matter of "faith" not history, anthropology or science. It is on a level with the garden of Eden.

It is all the stuff of myth. God selected one man as the father of his "chosen people". It is a highly nationalistic and militaristic religion based on a special "covenant". He sided with them in OT wars and told them to exterminate all their neighbours, which they did in the OT accounts. They were divinely promised possession of the land in Palestine, lebensraum.

Most Jews outside of Israel are now atheists and outmarry but likely there will long be a rump group that identifies as Jacob Jews.

terryt said...

"He sided with them in OT wars and told them to exterminate all their neighbours, which they did in the OT accounts".

And it seems many Israelis would like to do the same today. It is disturbing that people can take a myth so literally. Israelis are not the only ones to take their foundation myths literally mind you.

GailT said...

@Terry

<"Isn't it more plausible that the closely related European non-Ashkenazi lineages in that study once were Jewish women which converted to Christianity?">

"Not unless you're going to claim virtually all of Europe was Jewish before it became Christian."

Terry, your response misinterprets the actual data. They did not see a broadly European mtDNA signature in the Jewish mtDNA, rather, there is a concentration in haplogroups such as K. There are very few samples in the specific subclades that they examine, and it is possible that those samples could represent Jewish women who converted to Christianity in Europe. The authors recognized this problem, and their lack of an explanation undercuts their conclusions. From page 33 of the supplement: "The question arises as to why an assimilation founder event might draw in several lineages from a single haplogroup (K) from a presumably diverse source population in Europe." They explain this by saying it "may simply have been due to chance." The much more likely explanation is that K originated in the Near East, and that these specific K subclades represent migration of Jewish K lineages into Europe.

AdygheChabadi said...

Personally, I don't like the use of the word myth in this discussion. As a Jew, I find it extremely offensive.

Secondly, militant atheist and agnostic people believe in myths that are supposedly non-religious in nature, though, in many ways they can be considered highly religious in nature and dogmatic as seen by some of the comments about the origins of the Jews here.

No one knows if Jacob existed or not...no one here can say he was a myth because you have no proof that he was real or a myth. Many said King David was a myth, we know differently now. Same with aspects of Solomon. The intellectual dishonesty, ideological dishonesty, and anti-/ pseudo-intellectualism on display here is simply breathtaking and evil, terryt.

__ ROB __ said...

@GailT: thanks for your explanation, this is what i meant. they examined only some neighbouring subclades for comparing and found that they are european today. i would like to see a broader set of compared subclades... on 23andMe half of all jewish people state they are jewish, the other half is not aware of it (they seem not to know their family history e.g.)

Bilabial_Fricative said...

A side note on the persecution of Christians: If a society (in this case, ancient Rome during a certain phase or certain phases) persecutes people of a certain religion (in this case, Christianity) without them having done anything horrible, that society cannot be called tolerant, even though it might have been tolerant in other respects.

apostateimpressions said...

Nearly all historians agree on the basis of the Egyptian records that the Jews never sojourned in Egypt or had a Biblical exodus. Nor did they conquer the land of the Canaanites. Rather the early Jews were Canaanites who migrated into the hinterland. Thus the entire story of Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua et al. appears to be foundation myth.

Moreover the use of various symbolic literary devices in the story of Jacob implies that the tale is legendary myth rather than historical narrative.

terryt said...

"No one knows if Jacob existed or not...no one here can say he was a myth because you have no proof that he was real or a myth".

What we can be sure of, though, is that only a minority of Jewish men can actually be descended from a single man at any realistic time he is supposed to have lived.

"The intellectual dishonesty, ideological dishonesty, and anti-/ pseudo-intellectualism on display here is simply breathtaking and evil, terryt".

I doubt it is me who is being intellectually dishonest on this matter.

"Rather the early Jews were Canaanites who migrated into the hinterland. Thus the entire story of Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua et al. appears to be foundation myth".

That is what I see as the facts of the matter.

AdygheChabadi said...

"I doubt it is me who is being intellectually dishonest on this matter."

Yes, sir, you are. All "hater trolls" are.

""Rather the early Jews were Canaanites who migrated into the hinterland. Thus the entire story of Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua et al. appears to be foundation myth"."

No one doubts the Jews as Caananites, at least they shouldn't. The Bible makes this sort of admission. No one knows if Moses, or anyone concerned with it, is a myth. Again, there is no evidence one way or the other. I see my comment about King David and Solomon were skipped over as they put the lie to your suppositions, but anyway.

Sadly, I am not surprised by the comments. I fully expected the "hater trolls" to eventually show up. Hahaha, sadly never fails, like moths to a light. Certain groups people with certain mind-sets are so predictable, too predictable. You should try harder not to be so? :)

AdygheChabadi said...

Sorry, Dienekes for the back to back posts...forgot to mention this.

The Egyptians had a notorious habit of not chronicling defeats. Something historians also acknowledge. The only way historians know about defeats is by the records of other peoples.

Historians also acknowledge that Semites may have lived in northern Egypt ever since there was an Egypt. In fact, Semitic may have originated in that area and spread to the Levant where it diversified or further diversified. The Egyptian language itself developed in and around southern Egypt/ Kush/ Nubia.

It is clear that before the foundation of a unified Egypt. Northern Egypt and Southern Egypt where home to two distinct peoples going by archaeology. The Northerners where Egyptianized. It is assumed that these Egyptianized northerners where Semites. Which would help to explain the closeness of Semitic to Egyptian not only do they share common heritage by way of parent language (Afroasiatic), but also because of an absorbed Semitic substrate that became a highly integrated part of the speech of all dialects of Egyptian eventually. So in reality, if any Semitic migration occurred into Egypt (which there where many), it was, in effect, a return to where they likely originated in the first place.

There are even distinctly Semitic isoglosses in the lexically understood portions Meroitic, the ancient language of Kush. Specifically isoglosses or borrowings shared with Arabic and Akkadian. The Arabic isoglosses MAY represent common inheritance (within Afroasiatic). The Akkadian one LOOKS be a borrowing, but could be common inheritance also.

But anyway, I suppose we are all serious scholars here, so we all where aware of these things, correct?

Va_Highlander said...

AdygheChabadi:

"As a Jew, I find it extremely offensive."

As a rationalist, I find your injection of religious belief into a scientific discussion extremely offensive. So what?

"No one knows if Jacob existed or not...no one here can say he was a myth because you have no proof that he was real or a myth."

Argumentum ad ignorantiam. No one here can prove that invisible pink unicorns don't exist, either.

"Many said King David was a myth, we know differently now."

No, "we" don't. To date, there is no compelling evidence that King David was an historical figure.

apostateimpressions:

"Nearly all historians agree on the basis of the Egyptian records that the Jews never sojourned in Egypt or had a Biblical exodus."

Exactly so. Moreover, the Bible demonstrates that, in fact, the Jews seem to have known very little about Egypt at all.

"Nor did they conquer the land of the Canaanites. Rather the early Jews were Canaanites who migrated into the hinterland."

It is more likely that the core tribes that would later constitute Israel were from Moab and Edom, especially the latter.

Kepler said...


What we should be looking at, of course, is not a connection to the mythical Jacob or mythical Abraham or the like, but to how much there is a link between the people who claim to be Jewish now and the population that was living in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina and more specifically, in the Roman Judea.
There is a project by Israel Finkelstein right now that might help us get quite interesting information about the genetic remains of people in that area.

AdygheChabadi,

You have mentioned several times you are Jew. I don't think that's relevant to this topic (unless you can tell us something specific about your DNA sequences). No ethnicity, perceived or not, is more special than others.
Whether you are Latin American, German, Bavarian, Swabian, Nepalese, Jew, Japanese, Northern Japanese, from Mars: a myth is a myth.
Israel Finkelstein has written quite a lot about this issue.
Obviously, almost all of what is in the Tanakh is myth, specially at the start, but not only there.
Read The Bible Unearthed
for some initial references on serious archaeology of the area.

There are loads of discrepancies in what the first books of the Bible say and what history tells us.

apostateimpressions said...

There may be a core of historical truth in the OT accounts of the origin of the early Jews if we strip away the legends and myths. I will speculate on what that core might be.

The OT tells us that the Jews were a stateless people, outside of the wealthy cities. We are told that they were escaped slaves who lived in the harsh wilderness. They do not identify ethnically with any of the cities. It may be that the early Jews were a conglomeration of escaped slaves and other stateless outcasts, like exiled criminals and heretics, drawn from various cities and ethnic groups, Canaanites, Moab, Edom, Egypt etc. Likely the historical records will give us some idea of the categories of people who escaped or were cast into the wilderness.

I mean, why would those people have left the relative safety and comfort of the cities to live in the harsh desert? There must be some reason. The religion of the early Jews is focused on the "faith" that one day they will leave the wilderness and become a state, a proper people with a land of its own. Early Judaism presents itself as a religion that would have appealed to desert exiles in need of hope and many exiles may have gathered around that faith. The OT tells us that most of them died in the wilderness and that very few entered the "promised land". Clealy it is very dangerous and highly undesirable situation from which they wish to escape. That all implies that their exile in the desert was forced upon them by circumstances, possibly escape from slavery and other social compulsions.

Most desert exiles did not survive but some of those who did, and who had gathered around the Jewish religion that promised them redemption from their desert exile, went on to become the Jews. Many people later assimilated into the religion. Thus most Jews today probably have only a trace of ancestry from the early desert exiles.

(The forced migrations to Australia come to mind as an example of how the forced exile of criminals and others deemed undeserible (urban lower classes, orphans) can contribute to the formation of a state. The difference is that those exiles were incorporated into a functional state whereas the desert exiles seem to have gone on to form their own state.)

AdygheChabadi said...

Wow, the expected "I know everything there is to know" vitriol from the atheist peanut gallery...again, highly predictable. (sigh) What's new?

By the way, there is a lot of "religion" and "faith" in science. This has been seen, demonstrated, and discussed many times in many forums. I have absolutely no interest in engaging the atheist trolls here or anywhere. I will not be bullied or cowed by any atheist here or anywhere period.

So as to not be banned I will remove myself from any further comments in this section. Do not address anymore comments to me because you and your comments will be deservedly ignored. I refuse to feed the trolls.

In other words, **** you, I'm busy.

(Forgive me Dienekes)

terryt said...

" I fully expected the 'hater trolls' to eventually show up. Hahaha, sadly never fails, like moths to a light. Certain groups people with certain mind-sets are so predictable, too predictable".

So I'm a troll simply because I draw attention to some of the problems with a literal biblical belief? Should I also be sympathetic to the Polynesian belief that Maui fished the Pacific islands up for his people?

"But anyway, I suppose we are all serious scholars here, so we all where aware of these things, correct?"

Correct.

"I see my comment about King David and Solomon were skipped over as they put the lie to your suppositions, but anyway".

That suggestion has nothing to do with genetics, but seeing you insist:

"Israel Finkelstein has written quite a lot about this issue.
Obviously, almost all of what is in the Tanakh is myth, specially at the start, but not only there.
Read The Bible Unearthed
for some initial references on serious archaeology of the area".

With regard to David and Solomon he has also written a very well-argued book on that subject:

http://www.amazon.com/David-Solomon-Search-Western-Tradition/dp/0743243633

GailT said...

Full sequencing of the new Brandt et al Neolithic K samples would also be helpful, as it could show if some of these specific lineages were already present in Germany in the Neolithic. Going back to the Costa analysis, the conclusions are based on sloppy phylogeographic analysis. They might be right, they might be wrong, it is impossible to say. The finding are simply not convincing without a much more rigorous phylogeographic analysis.

terryt said...

"I will not be bullied or cowed by any atheist here or anywhere period".

I don't believe anyone here is trying to bully or cow anybody. To feel as though they are may be a reflection of the precarious nature of your own belief system.

"By the way, there is a lot of "religion" and "faith" in science".

Examples?

"I mean, why would those people have left the relative safety and comfort of the cities to live in the harsh desert? There must be some reason".

I read an account of the expulsion of the Hyksos that is surprisingly close to some Bible stories. For example they had an agreement with the Paraoh that they could leave in peace, but once they had left Avaris he pursued them. And we know that the Egyptians invaded Palestine soon after the expulsion and attacked several towns. So it is quite possible that remnants of the Hyksos fled to the desert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyksos

Quote:

"The first pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, Ahmose I, finally expelled the Hyksos from their last holdout at Sharuhen in Gaza by the 16th year of his reign".

fmgarzam said...

Consider Phlebas, the Phoenician, T. S. Eliot would have suggested.
All this discussions seems to neglect many previous papers.
What about the four Eves? or What if it is or it is not that Jewishness is more memetic that genetic?
Or what if there was a monotheistic proto-Jewish or Jewish presence in Europe even before the Roman Empire?
One interesting comment that I would like o pick is that ancient Jews were stateless people. By that I interpret self governed with no central far power.
It seems that in this discussion we are talking about a tribal non centralized religious practice, but looking at it in terms of similarity to the centralized religions. There was no Vatican, Meca or London for Jews. Every tribe, every group had its own interpretations and autonomy.
I like to deal with the idea that there was a special reason for some Jews in Iberia to go west after expulsion, and others to go east. Perhaps the first, non ladino speaking, probably more liberal and pre-modern went forward, the latter (add those that moved to Africa), ladino speakers, more conservative went backward, to its roots.
Some months ago I read an paper on Dienekes, March 01, 2013 Genomewide diversity in the Levant (Haber et al. 2013) that is a great geographic interpretation of cultural and genetic traits. It somehow reinforced my assumption that since the beginning there could have been two different tribes that prevailed: Coastal Jews and Inland or Mountain Jews. Some how liberals (Jesus or “Port Jews” the later concept by Lois Dubin/ David Sorkin) and conservatives.
So I want to speculate on a hypothesis that the discussion is centered around comparing two different though not distant human groups, lets call one the Post-Phoenician and the Middle Eastern.
Now, I do not want to imply that all Phoenicans, even Phlebas, were Jewish or somehow monotheistic, but that Phoencians had an important “migrationist” effect on Europe, specially in the Mediterranean and some Atalantic coasts and river waterways.
It is easy to guess that there was an important Phoencian colony in central and northern Italy even before Rome. That perhaps some of those Ashkenazi mtDNA haplogroups that are considered non Jewish could originate in some women with similar Phoenician ancestry. Ancient Phoenican Europeans.
And yes, them being liberal Jews, they married outside (the box) their groups, they married the other for money, for power, for safety and even for love.
Just consider this great article on the flow/dissemination of men, women, and Hebrew money in 1300’s Italy, a Tuscany-Cremona example. Michele. Luzzati, 'La circolazione di uomini, donne e capitali ebraici nell' Italia del Quattrocento: un esempio toscano-cremonese'.

Federico
Tartessian Andalucia ancestry (partly)

Ezra Jacob said...

What was her theory?

Ezra Jacob said...

My paternal grandfather's mt line is T1. The furthest maternal grandmother we can trace is Nadolsky, and they appear to have been from around Berdichev, Ukraine.

David Schalit said...

Jews accept converts. These four women would have been converts. All children from them would be 'real Jews'. King David's grandmother, Ruth, was a convert.
Approximately 1/3 of Pagan Berbers in what is today Morocco, converted to Judaism, in around the 5th century, pre-Islam, during the reign there of a Jewish Queen. Their descendents would be part of today's Sefardi Jews.
All 'real Jews'.

Stormy Day said...

@pconroy I am t1a1 also and also Jewish, but from Western Austria and Eastern France. T is associated with the Vikings. My Great Grandmother had bright red hair, fair skin and blue eyes, as does my Aunt. My cousins and I all look Irish/English, fair skin, freckles, light eyes. My guess is the lineage is simple: came from Iceland to England and someone along the line fell in love with a Jewish guy. Since Jews were always on the move, they settled in western Austria and a Eastern France where they found communities. It's really that simple.

jillipooh said...

I realize this post is about DNA. I have to ask, though: Isn't it just wrong to overlook cultural history when attempting to define who is, or is not a Jew? I appreciate very much what David Shalit had to say for that reason. If conversion doesn't matter, then why is/was it done? I have discovered some "Jewish" DNA in my family, but I can't say I'm Jewish, primarily because I wasn't raised as a Jew! I could convert, but as I am less and less impressed with religion, it would actually mean more to me socially and culturally. It seems there are several perspectives to everything nowadays.

Another detail: I'm told that any DNA from over 200 yrs ago is unlikely to be passed along?? If that's the case, I fail to see how or why any of this matters. I can trace my antecedents back 200 yrs and then quit!

terryt said...

"I'm told that any DNA from over 200 yrs ago is unlikely to be passed along??"

Not much of it is passed along. Think about it. You have half your mother's DNA and half your father's. They have half of their respective mother's and father's, and so on. You therefore have, on average, one quarter of each of your grandparents' DNA. In 200 years, or 8 generations, you have, again on average, just one 252nd of each ancestor's DNA. However the mother's mitochondrial DNA is passed on virtually unchanged through the generations. That is the DNA this paper deals with.