Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-10 > 1160494558

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Oppenheimer's Book
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 08:35:58 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <>


Because you appear so convinced of the Basque
Paleolithic ancestry, you assume they cannot contain
significant frequencies of Y haplogroup J, as it is
associated with the Neolithic. Thus, you validate
your own argument simply by invalidating the sample
because, in your view, those Neolithic elements simply
couldn't be an intregal part of the Basque genetic
makeup. Interestingly, the mtDNA results indicate the
same genetic input among the Basque from Neolithic

However, I am pleased that you now looking at the aDNA
evidence. And your criticism of the site itself is
potentially a valid one, in the sense that the
Aldaeita cemetery is from Late Antiquity and may
include intrusive Frankish elements.

However, Aldaieta wasn't the only aDNA site utilized
in these studies. Izagirre's study utilized 121
dental samples from four Basque sites - two in the
southern part (San Juan Ante Portam Latinam and
Longar) and two in the north (Pico Ramos and Urratxa).
Habitation of these sites was chronologically dated
as having occurred between the Neolithic and Bronze
Age. Izagirre found no haplogroup V among the

About five years later, Izagirre then compared his
prehistoric samples with those found at Aldaieta in
order to reconstruct the biological history of the
Basque. So let's take a look at what he found.

Haplogroup K is present in the prehistoric Basque
populations at 16-23%. IN the Aldaieda sample, where
one would expect to a frequency more in accord with
that found today, that is exactly what the researchers
found, at 2.7% Thus, the prehistoric Basque
population stands apart from those of Atlantic fringe
(where it found at a frequency today in Europe of

Haplogroup V is absent in all populations from
prehistoric Basque country. I find this data hard to
reconcile with the constant publication by geneticists
that V originated in southwest Europe immediately
following the LGM. It is found today among Basque at
a frequency of 10.2%, which led to the suggestion that
it originated in this area, perhaps among the Basque.
Only one individual at Aldaeita belonged to V.

Haplogroup J, considered a Neolithic lineage, is found
at all prehistoric sites except Longar, at a frequency
of 16%. Among present-day Basque, it occurs only at
2.4%, leading geneticists to conclude (wrongly, in my
opinion, based on the aDNA data) that incursions by
Neolithic lineages like J had little to no impact on
the Basque. Similarly at Aldaieta, there is a very
high frequency of haplogroup J. These results,
coupled with the other haplogroup findings, actually
points to how little genetic change occurred in
frequency and distribution of haplogroups between the
prehistoric samples and those of Aldaieta.

Haplogroup H is present among contemporary Basque at
64-62%, the highest in Europe. At Aldaieta, it is
present at 48.6%. In the prehistoric samples, from
37-44%. See a trend here?

I am familiar with Gonzalez's paper regarding U8a.
While they assert a Paleolithic origin for U8a among
the Basque (which I don't necessarily disagree with),
they acknowledge the rarity of the lineage, at a mere
1% of the Basque results. This is in agreement with
my belief that many of the old Paleolithic lines of
Europe (N*, N1a, U8a, even pre-HV) have all but
disappeared today. Gonzalez's findings also lend
tentative support to the idea that the first
colonziation of Europe occurred by people migrating
from the Middle East, as the Basque U8 closest match
is with a Jordanian.

I don't really have an intelligent response to your
theories regarding R1b's isolation since the pre-LGM
Paleolithic (about 20,000 years ago), but apparent
lack diversity. I also find statements like
"seafarers don't bring much genetic material to the
host populations as a rule," generally insupportable.
I think the Vikings, Phoenicians, Greeks, would
disagree. More importantly, though, is the fact that
this type of movement into Spain, whether by sea or
land or both, was a colonizing event quite different
from that of the groups just mentioned. And since you
stated that seafarers don't have a genetic impact
unless the host population was small, and then also
made an argument that the hunter-gatherer population
probably had a much lower reproductive schedule then
the farmers, then I think you have addressed your own

I also have no idea what you mean when you state
"Spain would be an outlying area of Neolithic
advancement. By this time the advantages of Neolithic
would have been neutralized." Please explain.

Ellen Coffman

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