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Spaniards Are the Descendants of the First Farmers
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Screenshot from 2015-09-02 22:29:14
Because of the constant kvetching in the comments below about possible affinities between North Africans and Spaniards I was going to do some reanalysis of Botigue et al.’s data set, when this paper came out: A common genetic origin for early farmers from Mediterranean Cardial and Central European LBK cultures. This inference comes from a whole-genome sequence of an ancient DNA sample. Specifically a 7,400 year-old Cardial individual (CB13) from the environs of modern Barcelona. The paper is open access, so read the whole thing yourself, it’s short. But the results are clear above. This individual has affinities with modern Sardinians more than any other modern groups. Second, come the Basques.

The balance of ancient DNA results are suggesting that there was a radical replacement of hunter-gatherers across Europe. These individuals of the early Neolithic seem to derive from the same source group, whether they were Cardial in the Western Mediterranean or LBK in Germany. And, they were admixed by the enigmatic “Basal Eurasians” and a European hunter-gatherer element. Using the CB13 the authors compared shared drift with various European hunter-gatherers. It turns out that CB13 shared the most with Hungarian, not Iberian, hunter-gatherers. The implication is that we’re seeing a common mode of human cultural and genetic change: an initial stage of amalgamation giving way to endogamy. The later resurgence of “hunter-gatherer” ancestry that you see in Spain is probably attributable to the arrival of people from the North, likely Indo-European speakers. Notably, this individual had the derived allele SLC24A5 only

In any case, I also did a little analysis of North Africans, Spaniards, and Orcadians and French as token outgroups. All the plots here.

BerberBan6

The Tunisian sample are Berbers. Southern and Northwest Spain are hard to differentiate. I wonder if this is due a lot of gene flow in the kingdom of Castile? I suspect that the gene flow from the Basques to northern Morocco has to do with Moriscos who arrived from Spain. The gene flow into the Spaniards, and Sardinians, is Berber-like, not Middle Eastern.

Note: I forgot to mention, I did a lot of outlier removal of individuals with excess African ancestry.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Genomics 
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  1. Beakerist says:

    Razib, this is very interesting. The ball is moving again.

    I think this validates Cortes-Sanchez (2012) and other that the Iberian Mesolithic imploded with a major subsistence crisis. Meaning, La Brana and his ilke did not contribute significantly to farmer or later groups.

    But, I am curious now about the origin of the North African and Byblian Impresso folk and whether this heritage is the sole shared affinity we see between Berbers and Basques.??

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  2. Excellent post, thanks Razib.

    The paper says:
    “Our Cardial individual clusters with other Neolithic samples, including LBK individuals from Germany (Stuttgart) and Hungary (NE1) and early Neolithic samples from Iberia, as well as later Middle Neolithic and Copper age individuals (Keller et al. 2012; Gamba et al. 2014; Lazaridis et al. 2014; Haak et al. 2015). As previously noticed (Keller et al. 2012; Gamba et al. 2014; Lazaridis et al. 2014; Skoglund et al. 2014), all these prehistoric farmers also plot close to present-day southern Europeans, in particular to Sardinians.”

    The Sardinian influence, as you say, is strong in the Barcelona individual and modern-day Basques. I can say that Sardinia also genetically impacts modern-day Catalonians, Southern French, Northern Italians, Swiss, Austrians, and even Romanians [although I lack data for Hungary].

    “The gene flow into the Spaniards, and Sardinians, is Berber-like, not Middle Eastern.”

    Yes, definitely so. This is very clear in the HLA and I have been saying this for some time
    [see also: marcel proust says:

    On a silly note…

    I had to wikipedia “Orcadians”. My first (fleeting) thought was “Why would you include killer whales in this analysis, even as an out-group?”

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  3. sprfls says:

    The main question remaining for me, with respect to figuring out southern euro / near eastern ancestry, is where, when, and from whom did the farmers pick up their WHG portion? It was already fully present in the Barcin individual pretty early on — but that’s western Turkey. Now we really need genomes from further east in Turkey, and Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, etc…

    Will we find something that looks like the early neolithic farmers, minus any WHG? Will they look like Bedouins or Yemenis Jews, or something similar but different enough to matter? Or maybe WHG was actually there much earlier than previously thought? And like you mentioned, what the hell is “Basal Eurasian” anyways? I’d love to know it all.

    Moderately worried ISIS and other crap going down in the region might screw up our chances of ever finding out.

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    • Replies: @patrick
    Very interesting question. I am of Sicilian descent so I always wondered about Southern Euro and Near East populations (e.g. what was the relationship between EEF and the "Basal Eurasians", and why do Sicilians often show extra Middle East ancestry superimposed on top of their EEF component?)
    This is great news. Being able to get DNA from remains in hot, dry Mediterranean climates opens a lot of doors.
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  4. Matt_ says:

    Comments:

    - Idea of Hungarian HG KO1′s being closer to early farmers – is this gene flow from hg to farmer, farmer to hg or both whether they’ve actually established directionality.
    - Most of closeness to Eastern Hunter Gatherers comes from IE however big shifts in closeness to West European HG between early and mid Neolithic farmers from Spain (see Haak). Also Germany and Sweden.
    - f3 outgroup stats show interesting patterns here. WHG closer to this farmer than early LBK farmers from Germany are, and modern Europeans often closer than the German Middle Neolithic (baalberge, esperstedt). Although the different Neolithic farmer samples quite variable in relatedness, so perhaps statistical. similarly f3 statistics from Haak paper showed most modern Europeans closer to whg than corded ware, and further from eef early farmers than corded ware was.

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  5. patrick says:
    @sprfls
    The main question remaining for me, with respect to figuring out southern euro / near eastern ancestry, is where, when, and from whom did the farmers pick up their WHG portion? It was already fully present in the Barcin individual pretty early on -- but that's western Turkey. Now we really need genomes from further east in Turkey, and Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, etc...

    Will we find something that looks like the early neolithic farmers, minus any WHG? Will they look like Bedouins or Yemenis Jews, or something similar but different enough to matter? Or maybe WHG was actually there much earlier than previously thought? And like you mentioned, what the hell is "Basal Eurasian" anyways? I'd love to know it all.

    Moderately worried ISIS and other crap going down in the region might screw up our chances of ever finding out.

    Very interesting question. I am of Sicilian descent so I always wondered about Southern Euro and Near East populations (e.g. what was the relationship between EEF and the “Basal Eurasians”, and why do Sicilians often show extra Middle East ancestry superimposed on top of their EEF component?)
    This is great news. Being able to get DNA from remains in hot, dry Mediterranean climates opens a lot of doors.

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  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Does this mean that the Basques are not descended from European hunter gatherers?

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  7. The later resurgence of “hunter-gatherer” ancestry that you see in Spain is probably attributable to the arrival of people from the North, likely Indo-European speakers.

    I thought Haak’s group suggest that Indo-Europeans arrived after the hunter-gatherer resurgence, rather than before?

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  8. “The gene flow into the Spaniards, and Sardinians, is Berber-like, not Middle Eastern.” This is a highly important finding for population genetics. It needs to be brought to wider attention. You have confirmed what I have pretty much known for 12 years, and what others have known or suspected for decades. And yet genetics bloggers and commentors, academics, geneticists, and the media will continue to believe that modern-day Sardinians are the closest genetic match for those “Middle Eastern farmers” who arrived in Europe in the Neolithic.

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  9. BB753 says:

    Why not posit two or more migrations from the Middle East to Europe (not to mention, Africa) ? One, the Berber-like flow, all the way around the Mediterranean counter clockwise down to Sardinia, Iberia and North Africa, meaning the ancestors of modern Barbers came from the Middle East by way of Iberia. Another “Basque”-like flow following the same route all around the Mediterranean and further inland towards Central Europe and beyond, stopping around the Pyrenees. The latter people would be properly the First Farmers. I hope I’m making any sense.

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  10. Idurar says:

    The distinctiveness of this Tunisian sample seems to be the product of its inbred nature, not because they are “berber”.

    As for the geneflow from Basques to Northern Moroccans, it can’t be Morisco ancestry because Northern Moroccans usually lack Ancient North Eurasian ancestry, just like most Northwest Africans. It might be local variation (Berbers’ territory, excluding the Saharan part, is as big as France x2 after all), with the subgroup of Berbers closest to the Iberian peninsula being slightly more Neolithic farmer than the average Berber. This has to be tested of course, but ANE geneflow looks like a good way to measure historical European and West Asian geneflow into Northwest Africa and Egypt (in the latter, only Copts lack ANE signals).

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    • Replies: @Shaikorth
    True, the Tunisian berber sample behaves similarly to Kalash in that it creates its own very specific component at higher K's. They're quite similar to Mozabites at lower K's, with a slight shift towards north which may relate to having a bit more neolithic farmer ancestry as you say.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/25/9211/F3.large.jpg

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  11. Shaikorth says:
    @Idurar
    The distinctiveness of this Tunisian sample seems to be the product of its inbred nature, not because they are "berber".

    As for the geneflow from Basques to Northern Moroccans, it can't be Morisco ancestry because Northern Moroccans usually lack Ancient North Eurasian ancestry, just like most Northwest Africans. It might be local variation (Berbers' territory, excluding the Saharan part, is as big as France x2 after all), with the subgroup of Berbers closest to the Iberian peninsula being slightly more Neolithic farmer than the average Berber. This has to be tested of course, but ANE geneflow looks like a good way to measure historical European and West Asian geneflow into Northwest Africa and Egypt (in the latter, only Copts lack ANE signals).

    True, the Tunisian berber sample behaves similarly to Kalash in that it creates its own very specific component at higher K’s. They’re quite similar to Mozabites at lower K’s, with a slight shift towards north which may relate to having a bit more neolithic farmer ancestry as you say.

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  12. It would make sense that a North African sample size would show affinity for, and with a Spanish sample since the Berber onslaught of 711 (they were invited by their allies, the Visigoths) supported the army of Tamazigh (the foot soldiers) and the periodic Arab leader (the minority). As the Umayyad were displaced, mawali (newly proclaimed Muslims and North African tribal entities) became the majority and as such, sought to dominate as much of the peninsular. Their rule was in the Meseta Central though isolated communites do show where they may have hidden or formed their own separate community.

    The frequency of West African samples (Mali/Mauritania: Taureg country) with the Blue Turbaned tribes shows that like a previous observation that dead men do speak from the grave of antiquity.

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