With some new genomics data coming out of North Africa, let's try and wring out some potential implications for our interest, the Beaker Phenomenon. (Pleistocene North African genomes link Near Eastern and Sub-Saharan African human populations" Van de Loosdrecht et al, 2018)
Here's the recent history of West North Africa based on the last several studies.
1. Iberomaurusian is an ancient, distinct and persistent ancestry in northwestern and northcentral North Africans. Both Natufians and Iberomaurusians have a low (6-7%) affinity to Yoruba, but Yoruba itself has a chunk of something weird in about the same frequency. A ghost may be lurking the corridors.
Anyhow, the picture is somewhat muddled for this genetic group since we're still mostly using modern Africans to model ancient and highly diverged ones. The important takeaway though is this, we can firmly name those components associated with the local Paleolithic and any newcomers.
2. In the epi-Paleolithic/Neolithic transition around the coast of Morocco, the first Cardium Neolithic ancestry significantly adds to Iberomaurusian rather than replacing it. We see this in Fregel et al, 2017.
That's important because if any Neolithic population were to leave this area and venture into Neolithic Europe, it would certainly carry this Iberomaurusian component to some minor degree. If Early Neolithic Atlantic Europeans don't have any trace of this in future analyses, then that severely challenges any role North Africa would have in the Neolithization of the western coast of Europe.
3. A very strong pulse of Continental European ancestry enters Late Neolithic North Africa that appears proportionally similar to some populations in the Middle Neolithic of France and Germany, notably the Salzmunde and Baalberge. Fregel et al, 2017 This is where a lot of questions keep coming back.
First of all, the maternal profiles of some Oasis Berber and Canary populations are similar to the haplogroup frequencies associated with some MN populations of Western Europe. It's clear there is some ancient shared ancestry beyond blood alleles and mtdna, and no it's not Roman or Medieval.
When we look at the ethnogenesis of Fula people in the Senegal-Gambia region, we have several odd things to look at.
It looks as if R1b-V88 in North Africa comes recently from Southern Europe, which itself is not surprising. What is surprising is that the time frame in which V88 would branch from Southern Europe (Sardinia?, this study; Iberia?) and that it puts us within an archaeological timeframe in which there is heavy communication between Iberia and NW Africa. In the Beaker period, there appear to be cultural inflows and outflows, but a lot of directionality in the Beaker period. Then there is the presence of T-13910 in Africa which needs some splain'n.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe all of the Barcelona Bell Beakers were T-13910, which is interesting given the fact that the same Paris Street Beaker males were also R1b-V88 or close.
There's many aspects to this, but at this point I don't care. Bring forth the DNA!!