May 29, 2008

Correlation of Y-haplogroups J2 and J1 with Neolithic agro-pastoral economies

Roy King and Peter Underhill had previously published on the Congruent distribution of Neolithic painted pottery and ceramic figurines with Y-chromosome lineages, in which they found that:
Only the Eu9 [Dienekes: J2-M172] haplogroup successfully predicted the distribution of both Neolithic figurines (88% accuracy) and painted pottery (80% accuracy).
From the paper:
Lifestyle differences exist between agriculturalists and pastoralists (Khazanov 1984). Sedentary agriculturalists and semi-nomadic herders often occupy different ecological niches (Cauvin 2000; Zarins 1990). Dry farming without irrigation is confined to regions of 250-400mm of annual precipitation (Bar-Yosef 1998; Buccellati 1992), while pastoral nomadism is an adaptation to regional semi-aridity (Bellwood 2005; Zarins 1990). It has been shown that the spatial variation of rainfall is important in dictating the structure of endemic flora (Kadmon & Danin 1999). Since the focus of our study is the Neolithic transition, we restrict our analysis of Y-chromosomes and rainfall to the approximate Fertile Crescent ‘homeland’ region implicated in the shift to an agro-pastoralist economy.


As predicted, both haplogroups J1 and J2a correlated significantly with annual precipitation. The Spearman correlation tests gave the following results for each haplogroup: J1 r= −0.45, p<0.05; J2a r=0.56, p<0.01; and J2b r=0.00, p (not significant) ... As shown, haplogroup J1
frequency increases as precipitation level reduces below the 400mm per year threshold, typical of semi-arid climates. In contrast, haplogroup J2a frequency reaches a maximum at 700mm per year within the Mediterranean woodland and open parkland zone (Bar-Yosef 1998).

I wonder how these results would change if populations from the Caucasus were included where there are some very significant J1 concentrations that seem to exceed even those of Semitic speaking groups except the Arabians. It's not clear how related the J1 found in places like Daghestan is to that of the Arabian peninsula, or if it resembles the J1 with the short DYS388 alleles found in northeastern Anatolia (where there is high precipitation). Perhaps just as J2a (but not J2b) correlates with high precipitation, a yet-to-be-discovered subclade of J1 is a stronger signal linked to arid climates.

I have been thinking about J1/J2 distribution in West Asia recently; the early surveys of its variation suggested a north/south Fertile crescent dichotomy between the two, but now its distribution looks more like a cross (+) or a T, with a longitudinally constrained J1-rich zone from Arabia to the eastern Caucasus, crossed by a east-west J2-rich zone across the length of the Anatolian peninsula (and indeed into southern Europe) on the west side, and Iran, Pakistan, and India on the east side. What is strange is that both westward and eastward from the central region (the middle point of the +, places like Iraq, eastern Turkey, Syria, northern Iran) the J2/J ratio decreases, approaching ~0.9 in the Balkans, and really 1.0 on the opposite side among the J1-less Hindus.

Volume: 82 Number: 316 Page: 281–289

Correlation of annual precipitation with human Y-chromosome diversity and the emergence of Neolithic agricultural and pastoral economies in the Fertile Crescent

Jacques Chiaroni1, Roy J. King and Peter A. Underhill

Examining the beginnings of agriculture in the ‘Fertile Crescent’, this research team has compared the distribution of rainfall with the distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroups. The extended families signalled by J1 and J2 haplogroups seem to have had different destinies in the era of agro-pastoralist experiment: J2 were the agricultural innovators who followed the rainfall, while J1 remained largely with their flocks. Acknowledging the fuzzy edges of such mapping, the authors nevertheless escort us into new realms of the possible for the early history of peoples.



Lethe said...

This might be farfetched but did anyone notice that the significant J1concentrations in the Caucasus are carried by ethnic groups that speak a Northeast Caucasian language which groups with Hurrian/Urartian and that the ancient Urartian Kingdom was located in eastern Anatolia. So their might be a link between the J1 with the short DYS388 alleles found in northeastern Anatolia and the J1 in Dagestan.

“The Alarodian languages are a proposed language family that encompasses the Northeast Caucasian or Dagestan languages and the extinct Hurro-Urartian languages.”

Dienekes Pontikos said...

I suspect that they will have their own type of J1, related to that found in northeastern Turkey too. Unfortunately, the Caucasus has not been studied with fine resolution markers yet, but hopefully this will change when the Genographic project publishes their results from the region.

Lethe said...

J2a-M410 and J1-(dys388=13) linked to Hurro-Uratian.

Diakonoff and Starostin (1986) argued that the Hurrian and Urartian languages of Northern
Syria, Northern Iraq, Eastern Anatolia and Armenia were genetically related to the languages of
the Northeastern Caucasus, such as Lezgi and Chechen. Thus, according to their model, the
Northeast Caucasian languages were distributed during the Bronze and Iron ages over a much
larger geographic area than that of their current distribution. Similarly Y-chromosome lineages
J2a-M410 and J1-(dys388=13) lineages demonstrate their maximal Y-STR diversity in Eastern
Anatolia/Northwestern Iranian samples of contemporary Turkish and Neo-Assyrian populations.
In this presentation, we will trace the geographic and temporal origins of the J lineages
which have been associated with the demic expansion of agro-pastoral Neolithic economy in
Southeastern Europe, Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia and Iran. WE will adduce evidence that
Y-chromosome J lineages originated in the coastal area of the Eastern Mediterranean during the
LGM and then spread to Eastern Anatolia just prior to the Younger Dryas. With the advent of the
Neolithic agricultural package, J2a-M410 then spread to Central and Western Anatolia, Crete,
and Southern Italy, while J2b-M12 spread to Greece and the Balkans. J1-(dys388>13) lineages
diffused to the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula, while J1-(dys388=13) lineages remained in the
Taurus/Zagros mountain areas of Turkey and Iran. The spatial covariation of J-lineages with the
Bronze Age to present day distribution of the Hurrian, Urartian and North Caucasian languages
suggests that the early Neolithic farmers in the Near East and in Iran may have spoken North
Caucasian related languages at the time.

Anonymous said...

I mean no offense to King and Underhill as they are competent geneticists good with agarose gel and using technology but the study is the silliest and stupidest one I have ever come across.

Why? Simple. Haplogroup J1 is predominated by men from the Middle East who are mostly Arabised Arabs or Arabians who speak forms of Semitic languages and who live in arid regions of the world, specifically the Arabian peninsula, the Levantine and Mesopotamia, not to mention African locales abutting the Sahara. Europe occasionally gets nasty Sirocco winds courtesy of Africa. It is hot and arid there. Where do J2 men mostly live? In well watered lands better suited to agriculture.

The stupid study should have shown why the cohort of men who were mostly J1 or J2 took the routes out of the IJ genesis, their Eden, to where they are now found in high numbers, and how they got from the small initial founding populations to predominate where they are now found in such high frequencies e.g Yemeni men are over 70% J1. It is like the question: Why are Irishmen over 90% R1b? Those frequencies over 60% are enough to make people wonder what the hell Irish people and Yemeni Arabs were getting up to. There was no effort made by King and co to extrapolate back in time over the millenia to find out the starting points of J1 or J2 and their movements to end up where they ended up and in their present frequencies. The reasons may be flimsy but something caused that state of affairs.

I can imagine a study that will find out that bearers of E1a1 are mostly sub Saharan Africans with thick everted lips, woolly hair, heavy lidded eyes and a propensity to have dark brown skin.

Honestly some of these researchers have too much time on their hands.

Anonymous said...

I must comment on Lethe, regarding J1.

The fact that J1 with DYS388=13 exists, is of no importance. It is no more older than J-P58 when you go backwards to the root of J-M267. J-M267 most likely had its original DYS388=15, so DYS388=13 is just two mutations down from the original mode for that marker. If J-M267 is 20+ Ky old then the two downward mutations would bring it to the Neolithic age, much the same age as the date for J-P58. The time to their TMRCA is about the same. J1 with DYS388=13 is just another variety of J1 peculiar to the Pontic region, nothing special. When you check the DYS marker allele values for J1 with DYS388=13 you find that most of the other DYS marker allele values are higher than in J-P58. Father and son studies of mutations across generations have found that mutations increasing allele values are more common than those decreasing allele values. For J-P58 to have mostly lower DYS marker values than the Pontic version of J1 implies that the Pontic J1 originated at a later date rather than earlier.

Unknown said...


"Ethnic Identity

We, the Chechens, are not slavs. We are not Turks, despite the fact that Turkey unites all North Caucasus Muslim into a category which is related to them. We are not even "Chechen." This was coined by the Russians after the name of a village (Chechen-aul) where the Russians first encountered our people in the early 16th century. The first written mention of our people was in the 7th century, where we were known as the "Noxche" (pronounced "No-h-chee" with the "h" pronounced as if one was gargling from the back of the mouth: very similar to one of the ancient Aramaic letters)."


The Noxche language is considered one of the most difficult and oldest languages in the Caucasus. Its roots can be traced most closely to the ancient Mesopotamians. A cuneiform-style of writing is evident on some of the stone inscriptions, dating at least to 2,800 BC. The Noxche language, as we know it today, is most linked to some of the words used by the ancient Akkhadians, and can be traced at least to 1200 BC.. It is not related to Russian, Slavic, Indo-European or Turkish languages

1,850 BC: bronze working evident as the northern most point. Contemporary to bronze working among the Hurrians, Kassites, Amorites and others to the south. "

from J1-M267 Y lineage marks climate-driven pre-historical human displacements study

D116 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D119b J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D077 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D082 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D084 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D085 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D086 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D087 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D088 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D089 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam
D090 J1-M267 (xJ1a-e) Chechens Dagestan Akkin North-Caucasian Islam

most Chechens are j1 dys388=13

Unknown said...

"Dr Golda H. Kaplan is a linguist. She researches Akkadian, especially its system of verb tenses. Her principal ideas can be found in the monograph Use of aspect-tense verbal forms in Akkadian texts of the Hammurapi period (1792-1750 B.C.) published in English in 2002. She wrote also The Sketches On Akkadian Grammar, the most detailed study guide on Akkadian in Russia."
The Assyrians also had a civilization that flourished to the west of Lake Urmia(Azerbaijan) in the centuries prior to creation of Media and Albania. Most of the ancient documents and inscriptions used for historical analysis of the area come from the Assyrians and from the kingdom of Urartu. In dealing with the history of Azerbaijan, most western scholars refer to Greek, Arab, Roman, and Persian sources."
In Anatolia, the first millennium B.C. begins in a period of disruption and decentralization: new states form and regroup. Greek colonies are established in southern and western Anatolia and, later, on the Black Sea coasts. By the late eighth century B.C., the Neo-Assyrian empire, with its capital cities in Mesopotamia, confronts small kingdoms in both Anatolia and the Southern Caucasus, including Urartu, Phrygia, and (later) Lydia
Maybe The above historical and lingo facts might explain too, how J1 388=13 is spread up north to Caucasia since J1 388=13 is very common among Assyrians too.

dok101 said...

Hello Bilad. Thank you for your informative posts. J1* with DYS388=13 does indeed occur with exceptionally high frequency among Assyrians. Eighteen of twenty-one J1* Assyrians, as of the current count, are DYS388=13. And, as I suspect you are aware, our Assyrian-Aramaic language continues to feature a functional vocabulary that is very similar to the Akkadian of old.

zviadan said...

the biggest frequency of J2 was found in north-eastern Kazbegi mountainous region of Georgia - Georgians of this region had 76% of J2. how can this be explained?

Katharós said...

"Old subject, but it fits in"

This theorie could explain why Semitic nomadic pastoralists were attracted to Sumer in the first place.

Drought May Have Killed Sumerian Language