Thursday, December 4, 2014

Haplogroup H and Modern Europe

One puzzling aspect of Northeast European genetics is what appears to be a maternal heritage that has a fair degree of "Western" members.  (i.e. an Iberian cluster identified by Brotherton and others)

The spacial diversity of the entire Haplogroup H comfortably suggests origins in the Northern Euphrates (Roostalu, 2006)  Within the westernmost portion of its original realm, the eldest daughter lineages were party to the earliest PPNA/B expansions across the Bosphrous, the later Danubian and Cardial expansions, ultimately arriving in the North Pontic, North Africa and Europe. (Haak et al, 2010)

Achilli et al, 2004
However, many of these elder daughter H's went extinct or were greatly diminished in later pre-history (Adler, 2012; Brotherton et al, 2013)  On the other hand, a sizable chunk of the modern European distribution within Haplogroup H is characterized by subclades that came of age (at some point in history) either within Western Iberia or Western North Africa (IMO) and expanded from there in a meaningful way.  (Achilli 2004, Brothernton 2013, Roostalu 2006, etc, etc, etc,)

I've used an older graphic of H1 from Achilli for zing factor, but when you look closer at sub-subclades like H1b, H2a & possibly V (characteristic to Russian plain and Siberian H) and then look at coalescent ages, you have no option other than a Holocene expansion, both for its age, frequency coupling and the archaeo-genetic mosaic emerging from Holocene Europe.  Further, this later expansion was not a timid exchange of pottery by pony-tailed people; it involved relocations [See here]  in which certain letters of the alphabet greatly increased in concert, by region, while others greatly decreased.

Let's be clear.  We are talking about a fairly substantial Late Neolithic population movement that included women of certain profiles.

Looking at the map above, it might be tempting to find a proto-historical or historical event to explain changes in the maternal frequency of Slovenia, the Baltic States or the Russian Plain.  But that's a losing proposition, especially after you consider a similar phenomenon for Crete (Hughey et al, 2013), Malta, Sardinia (Francalacci et al, 2003), Corsica and the Balearic Islands.(Morelli et al, 2007)

We have a pretty good idea of what a Cardial Island Hopper/Coast Hugger profile looks like, so that doesn't adequately explain the H1 + H3 frequency in Sardinia, Cyprus, Malta or SW Libya.  We also have predicted coalescent ages for many of these subclades, which by even the most conservative estimates, are probably too young to form any sort of Paleolithic or Mesolithic substrate across Europe and also in the Mediterranean.*  also (Loogvali, 2004)

There is a fairly tall-and-deep stack of studies showing a structure (for variously H1, H2, H3, V, etc) that is deeper in the Iberian Peninsula, having expanded the modern frequency of Europe no earlier than the Late Neolithic.  (Lee et al. showed in Germany 2014)  Even though some of the logic below is contradictory, these studies and a few others have seen a maternal expansion from the West:
(Alvarez-Ilesias et al, 2009; Loogvali et al, 2004, Roostalu et al, 2006; Pereira et al, 2005; Achilli et al, 2004; Behar et al, 2012; Cardoso et al, 2013; Brotherton et al, 2013, Garcia et al, 2011, etc, etc.)

But the plot thickens.  The following authors showed a very similar structure in North Africa, especially among Berbers.  (Ennafaa et al, 2009Ottoni et al, 2010; Bardo et al, 2013; Bekada et al, 2013).  More contradictory, the Enafaa team insisted the structure of African H1 & H3 is older than a Holocene immigration from Iberia, which basically takes us beyond the predicted ages of some of these sub-clades and paradoxically lessens the probably of a late proto-historical event.

Also noteworthy, but not necessarily informative, H1 in particular reaches its maximum human frequency among Berbers of Southwest Libya (near the Acacus and Tassili n'ajjer)  This is achievable if you are willing to accept an invasion of amazonian women from Iberia, otherwise we have severe uni-parental mismatches between the various regions. 

As Brotherton showed, and as more recent ancient DNA studies have supported, the maternal situation of modern Europe was recently transformed, apparently during the Chalcolithic.  Brotherton & co. viewed this as indicative of Late Neolithic/Bell Beaker migrations from the Iberian peninsula.

So going back to Eastern Europe...  The Bell Beaker phenomenon has in years past generally viewed in Eastern Europe as an imitation or trade.  However the situation has been changing rapidly with new or re-interpreted discoveries in Baltic states.  Recently, I reported a rather unspectacular but important find from Suprasil [here] that people possessing a Bell Beaker identity or worldview were living on the Polish/Belarus border.  In light of Suprasil, now serious consideration must be given to consider the actual genetic impact of migration.

This now raises some interesting questions about the maternal contributions to modern Eastern and Western Europe.  As Janusz Czebreszuk put it to  paraphrase, Beaker culture may have been the largest pan-European network in history comparable only to the European Union.

What else could connect Libya to Russia and Cyprus to Britain and Iberia?


  1. R1b didn't enter Iberia from Africa. There is no possible way. L23 is split into an Eastern and Western Branch. The Eastern branch is not in West Asia, so the split had to be in Europe, somewhere. Not in West Asia. No one is going from the Steppes, through the Near East, across Africa, and into Iberia, in any kind of migration. Not from 3500BCE to 2800BCE, ages of L23 and Iberian Beaker. That's not even working down to the ages of L51-L11, which will be less than 3000BCE. That's too fast and too far, with no archaeological ties. Beaker women were absorbed my R1b men, in Central Europe. Look at Samogyvar, Mako, and Beaker bowls. They're the same with dagger preference of elite males. Plus, a migration into Central Germany. M-343 is in Asia. L-23 has a Western branch in Europe and West Asia, the Eastern branch is from the Balkans, North to Finland, and East, into Asia. At least as far as Mongolia. Old clades of M-269 are in Central Asia. A Steppe origin, into Ezero, and Cotafeni, and into Anatolia and Western Europe from there, makes more sense.

    1. Several issues are raised here, so I'll treat individually.

      The Beaker phenomenon is viewed as an Iberian cultural expansion by almost all archaeological schools and has been for most of the last 86 years.

      Arbitrarily picking some miscellaneous Late Neolithic Balkan culture because it is halfway between the Pontic and Western Europe isn't a good use of time.

      "R1b didn't enter Iberia from Africa. There is no possible way."

      No possible way?! Based on the five guys that have had a DNA test. I'd say wait for the data. All sorts of weird stuff is likely to get churned up in Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan.

      I'll put my next comment in a separate entry..

    2. I strongly view North African influence as the original impetus for West Iberian Beaker culture. I didnt pull this view from a hat. It is based on the observed material culture and trade contacts. This view as been independently reached also by prominent archaeologists from several different schools.
      The Middle Pastoralists entered tbeSarah around 4500 BC and came from Eastern Anatolia. Around 3500 BC is when they begin trading in Iberia.
      Maybe they were R1b or maybe not, but in the end, North Africa is where it begins IMO

  2. If R1b was in West Asia, we'd see it in the Neolithic. Basal R1b is in Central Asia, not West Asia or Africa.

    1. I would agree that R1b is an eastern lineage.

  3. "Basal R1b is in Central Asia, not West Asia or Africa."

    Central Asia has a lot of HLA haplotypes from West Asia and Africa, they look to have arrived <20kya.

    HLA Haplotype:
    [one example of many]

    United Arab Emirates [N=298] 4.80%
    Jordan [N=15,141] 3.86%
    [Data for Egypt unavailable]
    Morocco Settat Chaouya [N=98] 3.60%
    Tunisia [N=100] 3.00%
    Pakistan Mixed Sindhi [N=101] 3.00%
    **RUSSIA SOUTH URAL TATAR [N=135] 1.90%**
    **RUSSIA CHUVASH [N=82] 1.80%**
    Tunisia Ghannouch [N=82] 1.80%
    Morocco Pop. 2 [N=110] 1.59%
    Portugal Aveiro [N=5,933] 1.30%
    Turkey Pop.2 [N=228] 1.30%
    Tunisia Pop.3 [N=104] 1.20%
    Portugal Braganca [N=301] 1.20%
    Gaza Palestinian [N=165] 1.20%
    Portugal Leiria [N=1,847] 1.10%
    Portugal Porto [N=7,937] 1.00%
    Portugal Santarem [N=3,865] 1.00%
    Portugal Guarda [N=797] 1.00%
    *RUSSIA SOUTH URAL BASHKIR [N=146] 1.00%**
    etc. etc.

  4. "H1 in particular reaches its maximum human frequency among Berbers of Southwest Libya (near the Acacus and Tassili n'ajjer) "

    Places of maximal frequency are almost never the place of origin of a haplogroup. Often they are inversely related. They typically indicate a founder effect.

    The case for European mtDNA making its way from Iberia to North Africa in the Mesolithic as part of the pre-Neolithic Iberiomaurusian culture at the dawn of the Holocene during a green Sahara period is a pretty good one. Rather than invading Amazons, you have gender balanced demic migration from Iberian to Northwest Africa, followed by male dominated Berber migration the replaces existing male populations at very high rates while bringing only a modest number of women, if any and also leads to language shift from a pre-existing ergative language with roots in Mesolithic Europe, to Berber, with local Berber dialects showing the substrate influence where it is present.