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Friday, October 31, 2008

Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean

Pierre Zalloua and the Genographic Consortium have been hard at work trying to retrace the steps of the Phoenician civilization which dominated trade in the Mediterranean 2 to 3 thousand years ago. From their homeland in the Levant, they established colonies and trading posts throughout the Mediterranean eventually disappearing into history. Zalloua et al are attempting to find some genetic trace of the phoenicians by examining the Y chromosome of men from areas of known Phoenician settlement. Their results link haplogroup J2 and 6 specific Y chomosome haplotypes as having contributed >6% to the present day Y chromosome gene pool of the specific populations studied. The paper focuses on Malta, Tunisia and Southern Spain as phoenician influenced regions spreading from a Phoenician Heartland in present-day Lebanon. Some of the highest levels of Haplogroup J2 are provided in the supplemental data including 28% J2 in the area defined as the Phoenician Heartland, 22% in the neighbouring periphery regions, 37% in Cyprus, 32% in Malta, 14% in Coastal Tunisia and 11% in Southern Spain. Tunisia, in the eyes of the authors provided a valuable contrast:

The excess of J2, PCS1+, PCS2+, and PCS3+ (Phoenician Colonization Genetic Signatures) in coastal Tunisia, the site of Carthage, compared with inland Tunisia is particularly salient, because these lineages are considerably more rare in North Africa than in Southern Europe. It also suggests that the Roman destruction of Carthage did not eliminate the Carthaginian gene pool. Further support for the PCS+ haplotypes' spread with the Phoenicians is illustrated by their generally high frequency among the Phoenician contact sites across the Mediterranean basin (Figures 1D–1F).

The authors used a variety of control tests to estimate the impact of Neolithic, Greek and other population migrations the the studied regions. They noted that only one Haplogroup, J2 consistently scored significantly in all their Phoenician-colony tests across the range of colonization sites. They also identified 6 specific 7 marker haplotypes they believed associated with the Phoenician expansion but acknlowledged that the limited phylogenetic resolution of the haplotypes (their small size) would pick up signatures not necessarily involved with Phoenician expansion. They also hope that future identification of SNP's may lead to the discovery of some rare but distinctly Phoenician genetic signatures. The link to the full paper is on the left side in the links section.


Paul said...
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Paul said...

Its amazing how these studies ignore the (E1b1b-T)

There were 2 main genotypes in Ancient Phoenicia.

J (Y-DNA) J1 proto-Semites that semitized the coastal natives & J2 Mesopotamians agriculturalists who moved into the inland regions before the J1 proto-Semites.

The Coasts are still till this day dominated by E1b1b an overall 25%-32% of Lebanese are E1b1b (highest subclade), the frequencies reach 50% in the coasts. J is an overall Lebanese gene, while E1b1b & T are exclusive coastal genes. (absent in -inland near East- While J2 is found in 30% frequency in Iraq, Northern Syria...etc

E1b1b (Y-DNA) : T (Y-DNA) were the sailors & ship builders class

Any Phoenician genetic impact has to be mainly connected with the coastal older Neolitihic offset of E1b1b & T the shared an 8:1 ratio, thats also exists in Greece in the same ratio which easily shows that simply all East Med coast dwellers (E1b1b & T) originated from the same group (The part we all try to ignore....but for how long....)

Origin of the Med Sea E1b1b-T offset (The most important compononent of the Phoenician DNA)

Ratio-------------- T%:E1b1b%

Somalians--------- 10%:81%-------------> (ancestors)

Lebanese---------- 3%:25%

Greeks------------- 3%:25%

Sicilains----------- 2.5%:20%

(The E1b1b:T ratio greatly differs amongst Egyptians, Omanis, Serbians & Kosovars....which shows that E1b1b:T came from a Sea cultured group that originated somewhere along the coasts of some warm nation)

J2 was also a Greek marker, because Greeks settled these regions longer (ancient Greeks then Byzantines & their settlements were by far deeper & had a longer lasting impact than the Phoenicians)

To track the Phoenican genetic impact you have to take the E1b1b + T & the J2.

The E1b1b+T+J2 roughly ~ 8:7:1 is the Phoenician offset that was also shared by the Greeks. Outside teh offset the Greeks had more R1/I (Y-DNA) & Phoenicians had Proto-Semitic J1

Greek or Phoenician DNA?

Ratio-------------- J2%:T%:E1b1b%

Pelop. Greeks------25%:5%:47%

Coastal Lebanese--25%:5%:40s%

Lebanese---------- 25%:3%:25%--------------------+J1

Greeks------------- 25%:3%:25%--------------------+R1/I (Y-DNA)

Sicilains----------- 23%:2.5%:20%--------------------+R1/I (Y-DNA)

Lebanese, Greeks & Sicilians share very similar % of E1b1b, T & J2 genes they differ by European genes that are high % in Greece-Siciliy +40% & average Mid Eastern low % in Lebanon ~ 6% except amongst the Lebanese Druze (5% of Lebanon).

Thats contrasted by a high Proto-Semitic J1 +30% in Lebanon & average South European low% of J1 in Greece-Sicily ~ 5% except in the Sicilian Palermo region.

Ponot said...

I don't believe any of that garbage. J1, the so called Semitic haplogroup more diverse genetically in the North Caucasus, Ethiopia and Europe compared to North Africa or anywhere in Arabia. Studies of Arabian haplogroups show J1 to derive from the North of the Middle East and to be derivative of haplogroups in places like Lebanon or Iraq.
J2 in Malta is 21% not 32%. I rather trust Capelli et al than Mr Z from Lebanon or that Wells fellow.