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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Diffusion of M319, J2a8 (YCC) Subclade

One particularly interesting branch of Haplogroup J2, is M319, also referred to as J2a8(YCC) or J2a1e(ISOGG). This SNP was first reported in 2004 by Shen et al in their study of the Samaritans. A link to this paper can be found on the right. M319 was found in 3 samples from their study, 2 Moroccan Jewish and 1 Iraqi Jewish males living in Israel. Further studies which tested for M319 found it to be absent in Iran but quite prevalent (8.8%) in Crete (minoan tablet pictured at right). This branch of J2 does appear to be fairly rare, being found in only a handful of cases of Iberian, Swiss and Italian origin from public databases. M319 haplotypes often show a distinctive value at DYS 413a, where they are seen to carry 16 repeats as opposed to 17 which is normally found in J2a haplotypes that are DYS 413 derived. King and Underhill, in their 2008 paper, Differential Y chromosome Anatolian Influences on the Greek and Cretan Neolithic hint at a bronze age arrival of M319 in Crete and a possible origin in Syro-Palestine or Anatolia saying

In turn, 2 distinctive haplogroups, J2a1h-M319 and J2a1b1-M92, have demographic properties consistent with Bronze Age expansions in Crete, arguably from W/NW Anatolia and Syro-Palestine

Certainly finding M319, albeit rarely, in the Mediterranean, while not being detected in Iran or mainland Greece might support a post-neolithic origin and/or expansion from Syro-Palestine or some other nearby coastal region. There is no shortage of evidence of the ties between the Minoan civilization and Southern Anatolia and the Levant.

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