Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-08 > 1155170590

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: RE: [DNA] Haplogroup J2 frequency
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 17:43:10 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <01ad01c6bc0c$3a27e3c0$6401a8c0@Precision360>

No one has yet answered the question: What is the
genetic and archaeological data supporting the
contention that Europeans are descended primarily from
Paleolithic (pre-LGM?) hunter-gatherers? (I suppose
were are talking just about northern Europeans here,
as the Balkans, Italy and Greece are certainly part of

Just because something is explanable utilizing a
particular theory doesn't necessarily mean that is way
it happened in reality. In no way am I negating the
impact of "historical" migrations on the genetic
background of Europeans. I think it must have been
huge and is often underemphasized. However, there is
also significant genetic and anthropological evidence
that the "Neolithic haplogroups" (still talking about
just Y groups here, guys) moved well into Europe
during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, and that
movement was not restricted to Mediterranean

One intriguing study is Ron Pinhasi's "Tracing the
Origin and Spread of Agriculture in Europe," 2005,
PLoS Biol 3(12):e410. In it, the author notes that
"although there is a tendency to image the spread
racing across the map of Europe, it actually took more
than 3,000 years (or 100 human generations) for the
Neolithic transition to reach north-west Europe. What
is involved - again on the macro level for Europe as a
whole - is a slow, gradual process."

In another study, "Estimating the Impact of
Prehistoric Admixture on the Genome of Europeans,"
Isabelle Dupanloup, 2004 Mol Biol Evol
21(7):1361-1372, the researchers inferred admixture
processes in the European population by examining Y,
mtDNA and autosomal data. They study found that the
"main component in the European genomes appear to
derive from ancestors whose features were similar to
those of modern Basques and Near Easterners, with
average values greater than 35% for both of these
parental populations...The Near Eastern contribution
is generally high, with a mean of 49.4% across Europe
(range: 20.8% for England, 79.0% in the Balkans) when
considering molecular information and 54.5% (22.2% in
England, 95.6% in Finland) when considering only the
frquency of haplotypes." The authors then excluded
Finland because more than 90% of its alleles appear to
have come from Northeast Europe and calculate the
average Near Eastern contributions at 48.3% (molecular
estimates) and 50.7% (frequency estimates).

The researchers also make the point that just because
certain ancestral lineages came into being during
Paleolithic times isn't evidence that these ancestors
were already in Europe in Paleolithic times. This is
often the assumption with haplogroup R1b and it may
indeed be an incorrect assumption.

I haven't even discussed mtDNA evidence here
concerning the spread of Neolithic agriculturalists,
but am clearly running on here. Nor have I yet
addressed the fact that the aDNA studies on early
Paleolithic remains indicate a very close genetic
connection between Paleolithic Europeans (results have
been HV, M and U8) and Middle Easterers, paradoxically
more so than with other contemporary European groups.

Ellen Coffman

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