GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-10 > 1161434512
From: "Steven Bird" <>
Subject: [DNA] Article on origins of Macedonians and Greeks E3b1
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 08:41:52 -0400
Three quick items:
1. The original article entitled, "HLA genes in Macedonians and the
sub-Saharan origin of
the Greeks," by A. Arnaiz-Villena et al. may be dowloaded in its entirety
2. The sentence which read, "The E3b1 modal appeared in just 4 out of 235
within the borders of Greece itself and those in a region that was
originally part of Thracia," should have read "...just 4 out of 239
samples". Sorry for the typo.
3. I have no idea who placed an ad for pizza at the bottom of my last
message. I am running spyware software now. :-)
Steven Bird, DMA
>From: "Steven Bird" <>
>Subject: [DNA] "Greek" E3b1 contribution to Pathans of Pakistan
>Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2006 08:05:23 -0400
>OK, I've scanned the article itself and I must say that it is very
>interesting and also frustrating. Interesting because it once again
>confirms the Balkan origin of E3b1 (alpha), but fails to identify the
>ethnicity of the ancestors correctly!! Time and again, the article refers
>to the progenitors of the Pathan population in Pakistan as "Greek." It
>becomes clear in context that the authors are referring to Macedonians as
>Greeks. This identification is in itself controversial and may not be
>Please see this 2001 medical study on the genetic makeup of Macedonians and
>entitled, "HLA genes in Macedonians and the sub-Saharan origin of the
>Greeks," by A. Arnaiz-Villena et al. (If the link has been split, copy it
>and delete the carriage return after fcgi? and before cmd).
>Here are the relevant conclusions of the above-cited article:
>"The following conclusions have been reached: 1) Macedonians belong to the
>"older" Mediterranean substratum, like Iberians (including Basques), North
>Africans, Italians, French, Cretans, Jews, Lebanese, Turks (Anatolians),
>Armenians and Iranians, 2) Macedonians are not related with geographically
>close Greeks, who do not belong to the "older" Mediterranenan substratum,
>3) Greeks are found to have a substantial relatedness to sub-Saharan
>(Ethiopian) people, which separate them from other Mediterranean groups."
>In the current article on the Pathans, an assumption is made, alluded to
>within the title itself, that Alexander the Great was Greek. What the
>authors say that is helpful to understanding ancient population movements
>is that the Pathan population of Pakistan has a tradition of descent from
>members of Alexander the Great's army, which appears to be borne out also
>by the genetic evidence for a strong presence of E3b1 (alpha presumed) -
>M78 among the Pathan male population. The authors also identify M78 as
>originating in the Balkans.
>They then proceed to muddy the waters badly by claiming that the the
>following haplotype is "Greek":
>Anyone who has worked with E3b1 for any length of time will recognize these
>immediately as the ordinary modal STR values for the E3b1 subclade
>(probably E3b1a2, although this still awaits the commercial availability of
>V13 for proof.)
>The authors entered this "Greek"haplotype at YHRD and stated in their
>article that 53 individuals in a worldwide population sample of 7897
>haplotypes were found that matched it. To quote:
>"The contour map [of the distribution of this haplotype] shows a major
>concentration around Macedonia and Greece, with a low scattering in other
>European countries, Tunisia, West Africa and the Pathans. This gives a
>strong indication of a European, possibly Greek, origin of these Pathan Y
>chromosomes." Thus in this statement, they again conflate Macedonian and
>Greek ancestry. (See above-linked abstract to the article, "HLA genes in
>Macedonians and the sub-Saharan origin of the Greeks.").
>I decided to follow suit and enter the same data at YHRD. I entered the
>above haplotype and came up with a list of the populations with matches to
>this profile. What struck me immediately was the almost complete ABSENCE
>of this haplotype in Greece itself!!!! The only exception was found in
>Thrace, Greece, where 4 out of 41 samples showed this profile. Every other
>profile was found outside of Greece itself, including 14/149 in Macedonia,
>4/43 in Krusevo, Macedonia (among the Aromun population there,) 8/453 in
>Stuttgart, Germany, 5/35 in Sarajevo, 3/52 in Skopje, Macedonia, 2/30 in
>Tirana, Albania, etc.
>The following regions in Greece had NO presence for this profile in YHRD
>(sample size in parenthesis):
>Central Greece (14)
>Crete, Greece (8)
>Epirus, Greece (14)
>Macedonia, Greece (28) !!!!!!
>Peloponnes, Greece (18)
>Thessaly, Greece (15)
>198 samples above, plus 37 out of 41 samples in Thrace, for a total of 235
>samples found in Greece had NO appearance of this haplotype whatsoever.
>The E3b1 modal appeared in just 4 out of 235 samples within the borders of
>Greece itself and those in a region that was originally part of Thracia.
>How can anyone say credibly that this group is representative of a
>displaced Greek population? At the very least it is Macedonian and
>considering the known composition of Alexander's army, may have been
>The problem, obviously, is with the misidentification of Alexander as a
>Greek rather than a Macedonian by these researchers. If they had stated
>that the Pathan population of Pakistan had been descended from Macedonians
>who accompanied Alexander, I believe that they would have hit the mark.
>One other paragraph is worth noting:
>"This haplotype was not observed in any other E3b1-derived Pakistani Y
>chromosome but was highly specific for the Balkans -- the highest frequency
>being in Macedonia."
>I was speechless. The right conclusion but the wrong description.
>Steven Bird, DMA
>>I don't have access to this article, but the phrase "genetic distance
>>measures sensitive to recent events" is tantalizing. If someone can fill
>>us in, that
>>would be helpful. It could be something as simple as using STRs vs SNPs, I
>Considering the level of interpretation found in the rest of the article,
>beginning with the title, I wouldn't get too hopeful.
>>Eur J Hum Genet. 2006 Oct 18; [Epub ahead of print]
>>Y-chromosomal evidence for a limited Greek contribution to the Pathan
>>population of Pakistan.
>>Firasat S, Khaliq S, Mohyuddin A, Papaioannou M, Tyler-Smith C, Underhill
>I'm surprised that Peter Underhill would lend his name to this questionable
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|[DNA] Article on origins of Macedonians and Greeks E3b1 by "Steven Bird" <>|