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The Basque Culture Is That of the First Farmers
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There’s a new paper in PNAS, Ancient genomes link early farmers from Atapuerca in Spain to modern-day Basques. It is a nice complement to the earlier paper on an earlier Iberian Neolithic sample. These individuals all date to a later period, most ~5,000 years ago, and one ~3,500 years. Despite the media hype, the results of this paper were pretty much expected, and it’s the final nail in the coffin of the idea that the Basque language and culture are relics of Paleolithic Europe. Rather, it confirms the result that the Basque descend in large part from agriculturalists who brought the Neolithic revolution to Europe. The genetic result began to be clear as early as 2010, when PLOS BIOLOGY published A Predominantly Neolithic Origin for European Paternal Lineages. The interpretation of that paper was wrong in some of the specific detail. It is quite likely that the R1b haplogroup did not come with the first farmers, but that it was a later arrival. But, the authors were early in refuting the contention that the high frequency of this lineage among Basques was ipso facto evidence that it was a primal Paleolithic signature. In fact much of that work exhibited some circularity, with the premise that Basques were primal descendants of hunter-gatherers being the linchpin for archaeogenetic inferences which then came back around to pointing out that the intuited genetic distinctiveness of the Basques was further evidence of their uniqueness.

Screenshot - 09082015 - 10:30:26 AM The admixture plot to the left reiterate a few things I’ve been asserting of late. First, the Spanish Basque are unique in having weaker signatures of being impacted by North African gene flow and the genetic signal associated with people from the Eurasian steppe than other groups in the Iberian peninsula. This isn’t a new finding. What is interesting though is that the authors confirm through a variety of methods that the Basque have Western European hunter-gatherer gene flow which post-dates the arrival of the first farmers. The earlier paper I allude to above suggested that the Iberian Cardial individual, which predates the oldest of these samples by ~2,500 years, had hunter-gatherer ancestry which exhibited affinities with a Hungarian, and not Spanish, sample. In other words, the first European farmers were themselves a compound population to begin with. Subsequent to their expansion all across Europe they seem to have absorbed local hunter-gatherer populations. This is the resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry over thousands of years that David Reich has mentioned before. This was a phenomenon across much of Europe, not just in the Iberian peninsula.

Which brings us to how we go about solving this puzzle. It seems that archaeologists and anthropologists have to start tackling the issue. One possibility is that the human geography of ancient Neolithic Europe was intercalated, with hunter-gatherer populations occupying zones between the expanding farmers which were not amenable to their agricultural practices. I suspect that the Pygmy example might be informative, as this group has had a long period of symbiotic coexistence with agriculturalists. Note also that the results from earlier work suggests that the fraction of hunter-gatherer ancestry increased even before the arrival of the Eurasian Steppe populations, which changed the character of Europe’s north, and to a lesser extent south.

Finally, there’s the enigma of the Basque language. The authors of the above paper mention possible connections with Paleo-Sardinian, which predates Romance dialects on the island. And Sardinians, like Basques, exhibit strong signatures of farmer ancestry. In fact, Sardinians have more farmer ancestry than any other Europeans, likely due to marginal pre-Neolithic presence on the island. The genetic closeness of the farmer groups from Spain up into Germany in the early Neolithic indicates a rapid expansion from a small founding stock with roots in the Balkans and or Anatolia. This sort of expansion is highly likely to be accompanied by the spread of the common language and culture of these people, and in that way the Basque can actually give us some vague insight as to the cultural character of the first Neolithic people, not, the hunter-gatherers. These results reiterate that some of the ancestry of the Basques does derive from the people of Paleolithic history in a genetic sense. But perhaps more importantly, it points the likelihood that there was a massive cultural rupture between Ice Age and Neolithic Europe, and the Basque stand with the latter.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Ancient DNA, Basque, Genomics 
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  1. In this post you said “Sardinians have more farmer ancestry than any other Europeans”. In an earlier post, based on your analysis, you revealed that gene-flow into Sardinians and Spanish was Berber-like and not Middle-Eastern. And in this post you say “The genetic closeness of the farmer groups from Spain up into Germany in the early Neolithic indicates a rapid expansion from a small founding stock with roots in the Balkans and or Anatolia.” I assume that you are referencing the hunter-gatherer admixture in the early European farmers. The ‘farmer’ part of the early Euro farmers I am certain has a strong Berber or Egyptian affinity. The evidence in my opinion is overwhelming. I think that there is a lot of apprehension about the implications of this. I expect that a lot of people will now double-down on their assertion that Sardinians and early Euro farmers are just like Middle Eastern farmers. The early Euro farmers are very likely descended (to a significant degree) from a Saharan population which crossed the Mediterranean. Not a Middle Eastern one which arrived via Anatolia and the Balkans.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    The ‘farmer’ part of the early Euro farmers I am certain has a strong Berber or Egyptian affinity

    EFF = WHG + 'basal eurasian.' the latter is vague and inchoate at this point. the WHG in the well mixed compound has affinities to the KO1 sample from hungary, *not* west, north, or east european HG. so the most plausible route of basal eurasian is from the southeast to the west and north. if the basal eurasian ~ north african, i think it's more likely that model like so would work:

    EEF = WHG + basal eurasian
    berber = paleo-north african + basal eurasian

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  2. @Chris Davies
    In this post you said "Sardinians have more farmer ancestry than any other Europeans". In an earlier post, based on your analysis, you revealed that gene-flow into Sardinians and Spanish was Berber-like and not Middle-Eastern. And in this post you say "The genetic closeness of the farmer groups from Spain up into Germany in the early Neolithic indicates a rapid expansion from a small founding stock with roots in the Balkans and or Anatolia." I assume that you are referencing the hunter-gatherer admixture in the early European farmers. The 'farmer' part of the early Euro farmers I am certain has a strong Berber or Egyptian affinity. The evidence in my opinion is overwhelming. I think that there is a lot of apprehension about the implications of this. I expect that a lot of people will now double-down on their assertion that Sardinians and early Euro farmers are just like Middle Eastern farmers. The early Euro farmers are very likely descended (to a significant degree) from a Saharan population which crossed the Mediterranean. Not a Middle Eastern one which arrived via Anatolia and the Balkans.

    The ‘farmer’ part of the early Euro farmers I am certain has a strong Berber or Egyptian affinity

    EFF = WHG + ‘basal eurasian.’ the latter is vague and inchoate at this point. the WHG in the well mixed compound has affinities to the KO1 sample from hungary, *not* west, north, or east european HG. so the most plausible route of basal eurasian is from the southeast to the west and north. if the basal eurasian ~ north african, i think it’s more likely that model like so would work:

    EEF = WHG + basal eurasian
    berber = paleo-north african + basal eurasian

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  3. ohwilleke says: • Website

    Until we can figure out how the Basque came to have so much Y-DNA R1b and LP, we still haven’t really solved the puzzle, and the question of Basque linguistic origins remains open as well.

    We have quite a few samples of first farmer Y-DNA now, and not a one is R1b. Y-DNA G is predominant. The earliest evidence of R1b in found in Central European Bell Beaker individuals, in people on the southern side of the European and Central Asian Steppe, and in Minoan ancient DNA. All of this argues for some major demic event around the Copper Age or early Bronze Age, parallel to the Indo-European impact in Central and Eastern Europe.

    Also, if there was a Y-DNA transformation around the Copper Age/Early Bronze Age in Basque Country, it follows that there may have been language shift as well.

    Given the archaeology and other data, my hypothesis is that the first farmers whose ancient DNA were collected were pre-Basque, that the Basque ethnogenesis happened in Southern Iberia in the Copper Age, spread with the Bell Beaker culture in Western Europe, acquired LP in NW Europe somewhere, and then reached modern Basque Country from France around the Middle to Late Bronze Age.

    In this hypothesis, the individuals in this study from Copper Age and Early Bronze Age Iberia have Y-DNA very atypical of modern Basque people, and typical of other first farmers in Europe, because, these individuals were pre-Basque inhabitants of the same region that came to be Basque County a few centuries later.

    The Bell Beaker impact on these people may have left a powerful Y-DNA impact and inserted LP into the population after which selection had the predominant effect, without having very noticeable autosomal impact, if the founding Bell Beaker population was male dominated, and married almost exclusively local women (not necessarily discriminating as strongly between first farmers and hunter-gatherer women as local first farmer people did). If Basque people were descendants of R1b Bell Beaker people diluted autosomally by generation after generation of local wives, and reached Basque County only in the middle to late Bronze Age (perhaps 30-50 generations after the first Bell Beaker people arrived), you could have high levels of Y-DNA R1b, yet have local mtDNA and autosomal genetics for the most part, among people who remain Basque. Everyone else who used to be Vasconic succumbed to Indo-European advances around the time of Bronze Age collapse.

    This hypothesis would also provide a secondary reason for low levels of North African admixture in Basque people. Other Iberians had ancestors in Iberia adjacent to North Africa since at least the first farmers. But, the Basque people may have descended from Western Europeans further to the North where there was not a long history of gene exchange through geographical proximity and then continued to remains separate from the locals after their arrival via diplomacy, etc.

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    • Replies: @Labayu
    In the Haak et al 2014 study, there is an Early Neolithic individual in Spain (I0410) who was R1b1.

    Quoting from page 44 of the supplementary information:

    The occurrence of a basal form of haplogroup R1b1 in both western Europe and R1b1a in eastern Europe (I0124 hunter-gatherer from Samara) complicates the interpretation of the origin of this lineage. We are not aware of any other western European R1b lineages reported in the literature before the Bell Beaker period (ref. 2 and this study). It is possible that either (i) the Early Neolithic Spanish individual was a descendant of a Neolithic migrant from the Near East that introduced this lineage to western Europe, or (ii) there was a very sparse distribution of haplogroup R1b in European hunter-gatherers and early farmers, so the lack of its detection in the published literature may reflect its occurrence at very low frequency.

    The occurrence of a basal form of R1b1 in western Europe logically raises the possibility that presentday western Europeans (who belong predominantly to haplogroup R1b1a2-M269) may trace their origin to early Neolithic farmers of western Europe. However, we think this is not likely given the existence of R1b1a2-M269 not only in western Europe but also in the Near East; such a distribution implies migrations of M269 males from western Europe to the Near East which do not seem archaeologically plausible. We prefer the explanation that R-M269 originated in the eastern end of its distribution, given its first appearance in the Yamnaya males (below) and in the Near East17.

     

    There are a few subclades of R1b1 also associated with back-migration to Africa, particularly among speakers of Afroasiatic languages, so I wonder if it might have arrived in Iberia via North Africa.
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  4. All of this argues for some major demic event around the Copper Age or early Bronze Age,

    i wondered this. look at the supplements of the paper and the last admixture plot. there’s some suggestion of this possible if you look at >10 K bar plots. i think bronze age male patrilineages may have a big role in answering the riddle presented here.

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  5. Labayu says:
    @ohwilleke
    Until we can figure out how the Basque came to have so much Y-DNA R1b and LP, we still haven't really solved the puzzle, and the question of Basque linguistic origins remains open as well.

    We have quite a few samples of first farmer Y-DNA now, and not a one is R1b. Y-DNA G is predominant. The earliest evidence of R1b in found in Central European Bell Beaker individuals, in people on the southern side of the European and Central Asian Steppe, and in Minoan ancient DNA. All of this argues for some major demic event around the Copper Age or early Bronze Age, parallel to the Indo-European impact in Central and Eastern Europe.

    Also, if there was a Y-DNA transformation around the Copper Age/Early Bronze Age in Basque Country, it follows that there may have been language shift as well.

    Given the archaeology and other data, my hypothesis is that the first farmers whose ancient DNA were collected were pre-Basque, that the Basque ethnogenesis happened in Southern Iberia in the Copper Age, spread with the Bell Beaker culture in Western Europe, acquired LP in NW Europe somewhere, and then reached modern Basque Country from France around the Middle to Late Bronze Age.

    In this hypothesis, the individuals in this study from Copper Age and Early Bronze Age Iberia have Y-DNA very atypical of modern Basque people, and typical of other first farmers in Europe, because, these individuals were pre-Basque inhabitants of the same region that came to be Basque County a few centuries later.

    The Bell Beaker impact on these people may have left a powerful Y-DNA impact and inserted LP into the population after which selection had the predominant effect, without having very noticeable autosomal impact, if the founding Bell Beaker population was male dominated, and married almost exclusively local women (not necessarily discriminating as strongly between first farmers and hunter-gatherer women as local first farmer people did). If Basque people were descendants of R1b Bell Beaker people diluted autosomally by generation after generation of local wives, and reached Basque County only in the middle to late Bronze Age (perhaps 30-50 generations after the first Bell Beaker people arrived), you could have high levels of Y-DNA R1b, yet have local mtDNA and autosomal genetics for the most part, among people who remain Basque. Everyone else who used to be Vasconic succumbed to Indo-European advances around the time of Bronze Age collapse.

    This hypothesis would also provide a secondary reason for low levels of North African admixture in Basque people. Other Iberians had ancestors in Iberia adjacent to North Africa since at least the first farmers. But, the Basque people may have descended from Western Europeans further to the North where there was not a long history of gene exchange through geographical proximity and then continued to remains separate from the locals after their arrival via diplomacy, etc.

    In the Haak et al 2014 study, there is an Early Neolithic individual in Spain (I0410) who was R1b1.

    Quoting from page 44 of the supplementary information:

    The occurrence of a basal form of haplogroup R1b1 in both western Europe and R1b1a in eastern Europe (I0124 hunter-gatherer from Samara) complicates the interpretation of the origin of this lineage. We are not aware of any other western European R1b lineages reported in the literature before the Bell Beaker period (ref. 2 and this study). It is possible that either (i) the Early Neolithic Spanish individual was a descendant of a Neolithic migrant from the Near East that introduced this lineage to western Europe, or (ii) there was a very sparse distribution of haplogroup R1b in European hunter-gatherers and early farmers, so the lack of its detection in the published literature may reflect its occurrence at very low frequency.

    The occurrence of a basal form of R1b1 in western Europe logically raises the possibility that presentday western Europeans (who belong predominantly to haplogroup R1b1a2-M269) may trace their origin to early Neolithic farmers of western Europe. However, we think this is not likely given the existence of R1b1a2-M269 not only in western Europe but also in the Near East; such a distribution implies migrations of M269 males from western Europe to the Near East which do not seem archaeologically plausible. We prefer the explanation that R-M269 originated in the eastern end of its distribution, given its first appearance in the Yamnaya males (below) and in the Near East17.

    There are a few subclades of R1b1 also associated with back-migration to Africa, particularly among speakers of Afroasiatic languages, so I wonder if it might have arrived in Iberia via North Africa.

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    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    Looking around, apparently the reference is to a man from Neolithic Spain (c. 5100 BC), who was buried in Els Trocs cave in Northern Aragon. His haplogroup was R1b1 and discussed in this 2015 paper by Haak et al. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1502/1502.02783.pdf

    Descendants of R1b-V88 speakers of Chadic languages as a source of R1b1 in early Neolithic Iberia via North Africa is highly unlikely, although not strictly impossible as single individuals can do amazing, random things that confound all predictability.

    The clade of R1b which is associated with back-migration to Africa, in particular, is R1b-V88 aka R1b1c, and it is associated with the speakers of the Chadic languages, with trace amounts of R1b-V88 found in geographically adjacent populations in Africa regardless of linguistic affiliation. Meanwhile, Chadic speakers have very low levels of Y-DNA E1b1b which is found in all other populations of Afro-Asiatic language speakers.

    R1b-V88 is not ancestral to almost any other extant subclade of R1b and the Iberian individual's R1b1* was ancestral to both this and to almost all of the rest of the R1b phylogeny which derives from sister clade R1b-297. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b

    The story of Chadic ethnogenesis from multiple lines of evidence is almost as firm as type cases like the origins of the Austronesian languages and Bantu languages.

    Chadic is almost certainly connected to the Gobero culture which made their way to Lake Chad via the now dried up Yellow Nile (aka Wadi Howar) around 5200 BCE picking up their Afro-Asiatic language and a significant number of wives (many of whom had mtDNA L3f only found in Chadic people and one modest sized subset of Cushitic people who live in a particular region) and their pottery designs and names for many common objects from speakers of the Cushitic languages in the northern part of the area where they were spoken somewhere in modern Sudan (these languages and mtDNA links are now found in populations of Northern Ethiopia and Somolia). Immediately prior to their arrival (from 6200 BCE to 5200 BCE), the region where they settled had been depopulated due to a prolonged drought. Lake Chad was almost a dry lake bed ca. 5500 BCE. Once they arrived, this individuals who were more gracile than the people who lived there before it was abandoned maintained a culture in the mid-Holocene (5200–2500 B.C.E.) employing a diversified subsistence economy based on clams, fish, and savanna vertebrates as well as some cattle husbandry. Notably, they were not people who utilized the domestic plant farming package that is utilized in Iberia. They also didn't have metal artifacts.

    The path by which the pre-Chadic people arrived in Africa is less clear, but it very likely involved traveling through the Levant and down the Nile Basin (a route through Arabia to the Gate of Tears route at the other end of the Red Sea from the Sinai crossing is less likely but not impossible). Chadic ethnogenesis was contemporary with the Pottery Neolithic culture of the South Levant and the Faiyum A culture of Egypt which was the first Neolithic culture of Egypt. It also coincided with the arrival of southward migrating Cushitic people in Kenya and Tanzania.

    One of the downsides of the way that the highly significant El Trocs individual's ancient DNA was released together with 68 other samples, is that the paper doesn't go into any real depth about the archaeological context of the find which might give us other clues.

    But, there is ample evidence, now bolstered by the study discussed in the original post, that the first farmers of Iberia were migrants from the same gene pool as those of the rest of Europe including the LBK farmers, and there is no indication in the El Trocs individual's autosomal DNA which has been released and analyzed by lots of people, that there are any North African affinities in this individual.

    See e.g. Figure S6 in the supplemental materialshttp://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2015/09/02/1509851112.DCSupplemental/pnas.1509851112.sapp.pdf

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  6. Interesting.
    The lauburu, a basque symbol, is a swastika, which seems to confirm the middle east/near east/asia minor origin of the symbol.

    Also, beside the loanwords taken from Celtic and Latin, there are words that seem strangely similar to old IE words (e.g. basque for “bear” is looking like the archaic IE word for bear ( Hittite-like; basque Hartz, hittite: Hartagga – notice the H in both case while the H was gone in all the (proto)-IE words)) more than to any other root from the geographically close IE languages (Celtic/gaulish (_artos (no H)) or Latin (_ursus (_no H))), or the basque root for “to drink” looks like the IE root for “to eat” (ingerate/gobble concept?), etc…), which could mean early Basque were living close to PRE-proto-indoeuropean.

    And the resemblance between English (Germanic) silver, Latin (Italic) sulphur (acually ressembling icelandic silfur), Russian (Slavic) serebr and Basque zilar, could indicate the original archaic Basque language group was originally more widesptread in Europe than we could have imagined right now.

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  7. ohwilleke says: • Website
    @Labayu
    In the Haak et al 2014 study, there is an Early Neolithic individual in Spain (I0410) who was R1b1.

    Quoting from page 44 of the supplementary information:

    The occurrence of a basal form of haplogroup R1b1 in both western Europe and R1b1a in eastern Europe (I0124 hunter-gatherer from Samara) complicates the interpretation of the origin of this lineage. We are not aware of any other western European R1b lineages reported in the literature before the Bell Beaker period (ref. 2 and this study). It is possible that either (i) the Early Neolithic Spanish individual was a descendant of a Neolithic migrant from the Near East that introduced this lineage to western Europe, or (ii) there was a very sparse distribution of haplogroup R1b in European hunter-gatherers and early farmers, so the lack of its detection in the published literature may reflect its occurrence at very low frequency.

    The occurrence of a basal form of R1b1 in western Europe logically raises the possibility that presentday western Europeans (who belong predominantly to haplogroup R1b1a2-M269) may trace their origin to early Neolithic farmers of western Europe. However, we think this is not likely given the existence of R1b1a2-M269 not only in western Europe but also in the Near East; such a distribution implies migrations of M269 males from western Europe to the Near East which do not seem archaeologically plausible. We prefer the explanation that R-M269 originated in the eastern end of its distribution, given its first appearance in the Yamnaya males (below) and in the Near East17.

     

    There are a few subclades of R1b1 also associated with back-migration to Africa, particularly among speakers of Afroasiatic languages, so I wonder if it might have arrived in Iberia via North Africa.

    Looking around, apparently the reference is to a man from Neolithic Spain (c. 5100 BC), who was buried in Els Trocs cave in Northern Aragon. His haplogroup was R1b1 and discussed in this 2015 paper by Haak et al. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1502/1502.02783.pdf

    Descendants of R1b-V88 speakers of Chadic languages as a source of R1b1 in early Neolithic Iberia via North Africa is highly unlikely, although not strictly impossible as single individuals can do amazing, random things that confound all predictability.

    The clade of R1b which is associated with back-migration to Africa, in particular, is R1b-V88 aka R1b1c, and it is associated with the speakers of the Chadic languages, with trace amounts of R1b-V88 found in geographically adjacent populations in Africa regardless of linguistic affiliation. Meanwhile, Chadic speakers have very low levels of Y-DNA E1b1b which is found in all other populations of Afro-Asiatic language speakers.

    R1b-V88 is not ancestral to almost any other extant subclade of R1b and the Iberian individual’s R1b1* was ancestral to both this and to almost all of the rest of the R1b phylogeny which derives from sister clade R1b-297. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b

    The story of Chadic ethnogenesis from multiple lines of evidence is almost as firm as type cases like the origins of the Austronesian languages and Bantu languages.

    Chadic is almost certainly connected to the Gobero culture which made their way to Lake Chad via the now dried up Yellow Nile (aka Wadi Howar) around 5200 BCE picking up their Afro-Asiatic language and a significant number of wives (many of whom had mtDNA L3f only found in Chadic people and one modest sized subset of Cushitic people who live in a particular region) and their pottery designs and names for many common objects from speakers of the Cushitic languages in the northern part of the area where they were spoken somewhere in modern Sudan (these languages and mtDNA links are now found in populations of Northern Ethiopia and Somolia). Immediately prior to their arrival (from 6200 BCE to 5200 BCE), the region where they settled had been depopulated due to a prolonged drought. Lake Chad was almost a dry lake bed ca. 5500 BCE. Once they arrived, this individuals who were more gracile than the people who lived there before it was abandoned maintained a culture in the mid-Holocene (5200–2500 B.C.E.) employing a diversified subsistence economy based on clams, fish, and savanna vertebrates as well as some cattle husbandry. Notably, they were not people who utilized the domestic plant farming package that is utilized in Iberia. They also didn’t have metal artifacts.

    The path by which the pre-Chadic people arrived in Africa is less clear, but it very likely involved traveling through the Levant and down the Nile Basin (a route through Arabia to the Gate of Tears route at the other end of the Red Sea from the Sinai crossing is less likely but not impossible). Chadic ethnogenesis was contemporary with the Pottery Neolithic culture of the South Levant and the Faiyum A culture of Egypt which was the first Neolithic culture of Egypt. It also coincided with the arrival of southward migrating Cushitic people in Kenya and Tanzania.

    One of the downsides of the way that the highly significant El Trocs individual’s ancient DNA was released together with 68 other samples, is that the paper doesn’t go into any real depth about the archaeological context of the find which might give us other clues.

    But, there is ample evidence, now bolstered by the study discussed in the original post, that the first farmers of Iberia were migrants from the same gene pool as those of the rest of Europe including the LBK farmers, and there is no indication in the El Trocs individual’s autosomal DNA which has been released and analyzed by lots of people, that there are any North African affinities in this individual.

    See e.g. Figure S6 in the supplemental materialshttp://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2015/09/02/1509851112.DCSupplemental/pnas.1509851112.sapp.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @Labayu
    Okay, North African origin seems unlikely then. I've found more information.

    From the supplementary information of the same study:


    I0410 (Spain_EN)
    We determined that this individual belonged to haplogroup R1b1 (M415:9170545C→A), with upstream haplogroup R1b (M343:2887824C→A) also supported. However, the individual was ancestral for R1b1a1 (M478:23444054T→C), R1b1a2 (PF6399:2668456C→T, L265:8149348A→G, L150.1:10008791C→T and M269:22739367T→C), R1b1c2 (V35:6812012T→A), and R1b1c3 (V69:18099054C→T), and could thus be designated R1b1*(xR1b1a1, R1b1a2, R1b1c2, R1b1c3).
     
    More about the context:

    The first occupation phase of the cave (Trocs I) is related to the so-called Epicardial tradition. However, this attribution is currently under re-consideration since both the incised-impressed-grooved decorative techniques and the Cardial pottery types are assumed to be two variants of the same archaeological culture responsible of the initial Neolithization of Iberia.
     
    I found the excavation report (in Spanish). The individual in question is MAMS 16161 in the report:

    https://www.academia.edu/9823749/PASTORES_TRASHUMANTES_DEL_NEOLITICO_ANTIGUO_EN_UN_ENTORNO_DE_ALTA_MONTA%C3%91A_SECUENCIA_CRONO-CULTURAL_DE_LA_COVA_DE_ELS_TROCS_SAN_FELI%C3%9A_DE_VERI_HUESCA_

    The pottery forms appear to be Eastern Mediterranean in origin. Although I can barely read Spanish and didn't try to translate it, so I'm not certain which images are pottery from the Trocs I phase.

    , @Megalophias
    Trocs3 was not ancestral for V88. He was ancestral for two subclades of V88, V35 and V69, which together cover only a minority of modern V88, both in Africa and elsewhere. However, he was only tested for SNPs on the ISOGG 2013 tree.

    Analysis by private researchers looking at more recently discovered/verified SNPs found that he carried two mutations, L774 and PF1144, which belong at the level uniting V88 and L389 (P297 etc) to the exclusion of the basal PH1165 branch, and one at the V88 level, PF6376. So he did belong to R1b-V88, or perhaps some closely related extinct branch.
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  8. Matt_ says:

    IRC from the samples we have, there looks like a major shift to the otherwise HG associated y haplogroup I2 in the farmers, prior to the Indo European expansion. I think this may be regional though, and not so noticeable outside Spain, Germany and Sweden (e.g. Chalcolithic Italy and Hungary).

    Much of the changes in the relatedness to hunter-gatherer ancestry before the Indo-Europeans seem not to follow a pre-post Corded Ware pattern to a great degree.
    On his Eurogenes blog, Davidski published up some stats of the form D(Ju_hoan_North,EHG)(BedouinB,X), measuring relatedness to the EHG samples relative to Bedouin.

    For this stat with EHG, the Spain_MN (Middle Neolithic) samples (D = 0.0536) are close to Basques (0.0571), and both as different to LBK (0.0371) as they are from modern North Europeans (e.g. Norwegian sample 0.732 for a closer to EHG than average N Euro group). While considering the WHG and SHG groups instead of MN, Spain_MN are as close to the WHG and SHG as the closest modern North Europeans (particularly to SHG, where they are closer than all modern Europeans except Lithuanians and Estonians).

    The changes in Russia also seem to require a population with a strong level of specifically WHG in the way the MN population did – the stat D(WHG,EHG;Pop,Chimp) which measures shift along a WHG-EHG axis of relatedness places modern Russians marginally closer in their degree of shift to the Middle Neolithic Europeans than the Yamnaya (although almost equidistant). So Russia changed as completely as Europe, in its autosomes. You can also seehints of this in the results from the modelling in Haak 2015, where the fraction of WHG ancestry in Belarusians hits around 25:25:50 LBK:WHG:Yamnaya in their model.

    Re: the closing tagline, agree the Basque group culturally may give us some insight into the culture of the First Farmers… but, yes, the historical shift here is huge. Many years separate the Basques, even of 1000 AD, from the earliest farmers, comparing to the Indo-European expansions of shallower time depth.

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    • Replies: @Josh Lipson
    Let's not forget that I2 is the plurality Y-haplogroup among modern Sardinians.
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  9. Labayu says:
    @ohwilleke
    Looking around, apparently the reference is to a man from Neolithic Spain (c. 5100 BC), who was buried in Els Trocs cave in Northern Aragon. His haplogroup was R1b1 and discussed in this 2015 paper by Haak et al. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1502/1502.02783.pdf

    Descendants of R1b-V88 speakers of Chadic languages as a source of R1b1 in early Neolithic Iberia via North Africa is highly unlikely, although not strictly impossible as single individuals can do amazing, random things that confound all predictability.

    The clade of R1b which is associated with back-migration to Africa, in particular, is R1b-V88 aka R1b1c, and it is associated with the speakers of the Chadic languages, with trace amounts of R1b-V88 found in geographically adjacent populations in Africa regardless of linguistic affiliation. Meanwhile, Chadic speakers have very low levels of Y-DNA E1b1b which is found in all other populations of Afro-Asiatic language speakers.

    R1b-V88 is not ancestral to almost any other extant subclade of R1b and the Iberian individual's R1b1* was ancestral to both this and to almost all of the rest of the R1b phylogeny which derives from sister clade R1b-297. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b

    The story of Chadic ethnogenesis from multiple lines of evidence is almost as firm as type cases like the origins of the Austronesian languages and Bantu languages.

    Chadic is almost certainly connected to the Gobero culture which made their way to Lake Chad via the now dried up Yellow Nile (aka Wadi Howar) around 5200 BCE picking up their Afro-Asiatic language and a significant number of wives (many of whom had mtDNA L3f only found in Chadic people and one modest sized subset of Cushitic people who live in a particular region) and their pottery designs and names for many common objects from speakers of the Cushitic languages in the northern part of the area where they were spoken somewhere in modern Sudan (these languages and mtDNA links are now found in populations of Northern Ethiopia and Somolia). Immediately prior to their arrival (from 6200 BCE to 5200 BCE), the region where they settled had been depopulated due to a prolonged drought. Lake Chad was almost a dry lake bed ca. 5500 BCE. Once they arrived, this individuals who were more gracile than the people who lived there before it was abandoned maintained a culture in the mid-Holocene (5200–2500 B.C.E.) employing a diversified subsistence economy based on clams, fish, and savanna vertebrates as well as some cattle husbandry. Notably, they were not people who utilized the domestic plant farming package that is utilized in Iberia. They also didn't have metal artifacts.

    The path by which the pre-Chadic people arrived in Africa is less clear, but it very likely involved traveling through the Levant and down the Nile Basin (a route through Arabia to the Gate of Tears route at the other end of the Red Sea from the Sinai crossing is less likely but not impossible). Chadic ethnogenesis was contemporary with the Pottery Neolithic culture of the South Levant and the Faiyum A culture of Egypt which was the first Neolithic culture of Egypt. It also coincided with the arrival of southward migrating Cushitic people in Kenya and Tanzania.

    One of the downsides of the way that the highly significant El Trocs individual's ancient DNA was released together with 68 other samples, is that the paper doesn't go into any real depth about the archaeological context of the find which might give us other clues.

    But, there is ample evidence, now bolstered by the study discussed in the original post, that the first farmers of Iberia were migrants from the same gene pool as those of the rest of Europe including the LBK farmers, and there is no indication in the El Trocs individual's autosomal DNA which has been released and analyzed by lots of people, that there are any North African affinities in this individual.

    See e.g. Figure S6 in the supplemental materialshttp://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2015/09/02/1509851112.DCSupplemental/pnas.1509851112.sapp.pdf

    Okay, North African origin seems unlikely then. I’ve found more information.

    From the supplementary information of the same study:

    I0410 (Spain_EN)
    We determined that this individual belonged to haplogroup R1b1 (M415:9170545C→A), with upstream haplogroup R1b (M343:2887824C→A) also supported. However, the individual was ancestral for R1b1a1 (M478:23444054T→C), R1b1a2 (PF6399:2668456C→T, L265:8149348A→G, L150.1:10008791C→T and M269:22739367T→C), R1b1c2 (V35:6812012T→A), and R1b1c3 (V69:18099054C→T), and could thus be designated R1b1*(xR1b1a1, R1b1a2, R1b1c2, R1b1c3).

    More about the context:

    The first occupation phase of the cave (Trocs I) is related to the so-called Epicardial tradition. However, this attribution is currently under re-consideration since both the incised-impressed-grooved decorative techniques and the Cardial pottery types are assumed to be two variants of the same archaeological culture responsible of the initial Neolithization of Iberia.

    I found the excavation report (in Spanish). The individual in question is MAMS 16161 in the report:

    https://www.academia.edu/9823749/PASTORES_TRASHUMANTES_DEL_NEOLITICO_ANTIGUO_EN_UN_ENTORNO_DE_ALTA_MONTA%C3%91A_SECUENCIA_CRONO-CULTURAL_DE_LA_COVA_DE_ELS_TROCS_SAN_FELI%C3%9A_DE_VERI_HUESCA_

    The pottery forms appear to be Eastern Mediterranean in origin. Although I can barely read Spanish and didn’t try to translate it, so I’m not certain which images are pottery from the Trocs I phase.

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  10. @Matt_
    IRC from the samples we have, there looks like a major shift to the otherwise HG associated y haplogroup I2 in the farmers, prior to the Indo European expansion. I think this may be regional though, and not so noticeable outside Spain, Germany and Sweden (e.g. Chalcolithic Italy and Hungary).

    Much of the changes in the relatedness to hunter-gatherer ancestry before the Indo-Europeans seem not to follow a pre-post Corded Ware pattern to a great degree.
    On his Eurogenes blog, Davidski published up some stats of the form D(Ju_hoan_North,EHG)(BedouinB,X), measuring relatedness to the EHG samples relative to Bedouin.

    For this stat with EHG, the Spain_MN (Middle Neolithic) samples (D = 0.0536) are close to Basques (0.0571), and both as different to LBK (0.0371) as they are from modern North Europeans (e.g. Norwegian sample 0.732 for a closer to EHG than average N Euro group). While considering the WHG and SHG groups instead of MN, Spain_MN are as close to the WHG and SHG as the closest modern North Europeans (particularly to SHG, where they are closer than all modern Europeans except Lithuanians and Estonians).

    The changes in Russia also seem to require a population with a strong level of specifically WHG in the way the MN population did - the stat D(WHG,EHG;Pop,Chimp) which measures shift along a WHG-EHG axis of relatedness places modern Russians marginally closer in their degree of shift to the Middle Neolithic Europeans than the Yamnaya (although almost equidistant). So Russia changed as completely as Europe, in its autosomes. You can also seehints of this in the results from the modelling in Haak 2015, where the fraction of WHG ancestry in Belarusians hits around 25:25:50 LBK:WHG:Yamnaya in their model.

    Re: the closing tagline, agree the Basque group culturally may give us some insight into the culture of the First Farmers... but, yes, the historical shift here is huge. Many years separate the Basques, even of 1000 AD, from the earliest farmers, comparing to the Indo-European expansions of shallower time depth.

    Let’s not forget that I2 is the plurality Y-haplogroup among modern Sardinians.

    Read More
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  11. @ohwilleke
    Looking around, apparently the reference is to a man from Neolithic Spain (c. 5100 BC), who was buried in Els Trocs cave in Northern Aragon. His haplogroup was R1b1 and discussed in this 2015 paper by Haak et al. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1502/1502.02783.pdf

    Descendants of R1b-V88 speakers of Chadic languages as a source of R1b1 in early Neolithic Iberia via North Africa is highly unlikely, although not strictly impossible as single individuals can do amazing, random things that confound all predictability.

    The clade of R1b which is associated with back-migration to Africa, in particular, is R1b-V88 aka R1b1c, and it is associated with the speakers of the Chadic languages, with trace amounts of R1b-V88 found in geographically adjacent populations in Africa regardless of linguistic affiliation. Meanwhile, Chadic speakers have very low levels of Y-DNA E1b1b which is found in all other populations of Afro-Asiatic language speakers.

    R1b-V88 is not ancestral to almost any other extant subclade of R1b and the Iberian individual's R1b1* was ancestral to both this and to almost all of the rest of the R1b phylogeny which derives from sister clade R1b-297. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b

    The story of Chadic ethnogenesis from multiple lines of evidence is almost as firm as type cases like the origins of the Austronesian languages and Bantu languages.

    Chadic is almost certainly connected to the Gobero culture which made their way to Lake Chad via the now dried up Yellow Nile (aka Wadi Howar) around 5200 BCE picking up their Afro-Asiatic language and a significant number of wives (many of whom had mtDNA L3f only found in Chadic people and one modest sized subset of Cushitic people who live in a particular region) and their pottery designs and names for many common objects from speakers of the Cushitic languages in the northern part of the area where they were spoken somewhere in modern Sudan (these languages and mtDNA links are now found in populations of Northern Ethiopia and Somolia). Immediately prior to their arrival (from 6200 BCE to 5200 BCE), the region where they settled had been depopulated due to a prolonged drought. Lake Chad was almost a dry lake bed ca. 5500 BCE. Once they arrived, this individuals who were more gracile than the people who lived there before it was abandoned maintained a culture in the mid-Holocene (5200–2500 B.C.E.) employing a diversified subsistence economy based on clams, fish, and savanna vertebrates as well as some cattle husbandry. Notably, they were not people who utilized the domestic plant farming package that is utilized in Iberia. They also didn't have metal artifacts.

    The path by which the pre-Chadic people arrived in Africa is less clear, but it very likely involved traveling through the Levant and down the Nile Basin (a route through Arabia to the Gate of Tears route at the other end of the Red Sea from the Sinai crossing is less likely but not impossible). Chadic ethnogenesis was contemporary with the Pottery Neolithic culture of the South Levant and the Faiyum A culture of Egypt which was the first Neolithic culture of Egypt. It also coincided with the arrival of southward migrating Cushitic people in Kenya and Tanzania.

    One of the downsides of the way that the highly significant El Trocs individual's ancient DNA was released together with 68 other samples, is that the paper doesn't go into any real depth about the archaeological context of the find which might give us other clues.

    But, there is ample evidence, now bolstered by the study discussed in the original post, that the first farmers of Iberia were migrants from the same gene pool as those of the rest of Europe including the LBK farmers, and there is no indication in the El Trocs individual's autosomal DNA which has been released and analyzed by lots of people, that there are any North African affinities in this individual.

    See e.g. Figure S6 in the supplemental materialshttp://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2015/09/02/1509851112.DCSupplemental/pnas.1509851112.sapp.pdf

    Trocs3 was not ancestral for V88. He was ancestral for two subclades of V88, V35 and V69, which together cover only a minority of modern V88, both in Africa and elsewhere. However, he was only tested for SNPs on the ISOGG 2013 tree.

    Analysis by private researchers looking at more recently discovered/verified SNPs found that he carried two mutations, L774 and PF1144, which belong at the level uniting V88 and L389 (P297 etc) to the exclusion of the basal PH1165 branch, and one at the V88 level, PF6376. So he did belong to R1b-V88, or perhaps some closely related extinct branch.

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  12. […] The Basque Culture Is That of the First Farmers | The Unz Review […]

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  13. […] The Basque Culture Is That of the First Farmers | The Unz Review […]

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