Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-12 > 1166041355

From: "Aaron Hill" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Ellen's Paper
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 20:22:35 +0000
In-Reply-To: <>

This is the impression I got, but I will take a look for any direct
evidence. When I started writing my response it had been awhile since I read
your paper, although I have started re-reading it. I forgot how long it was
and that I want to do it and myself justice, so it may take some time
writing, re-writing, editing and so forth. I like writing a piece and then
letting it (and my brain) rest for awhile. Then, I return to it usually with
a fresh perspective and attitude. After reading your paper again, partially,
I don't object to it as much as my first reaction. It seemed a bit negative
in tone overall, which I was a bit surprised by. The good news is it's not
really a big deal (like life and death). So, as I write and review I may ask
for clarification on some of your points.


From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Ellen's Paper
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 12:14:35 -0800 (PST)


I don't think I argue in the paper that the samples
are too small to be representative, but if you can
point to some area of the paper in which I do indeed
make this argument, I will certainly try to address
it. I do note that the researchers themselves in the
Etruscan study state that the samples may be from a
more elite substratum of the population and thus may
not be representative of the Etruscan common masses.

I do make other arguments, however, such as failure to
utilize other important data that could help identify
whether the samples are truly "Neolithic" or
"Paleolithic" in origin. Haak, for example, fails to
utilize the very insightful isotope and archaeological
data performed on the very same samples that he
genetically tested.

In terms of sample size, considering that these
researchers are testing very ancient and fragile human
remains, I'm actually struck but just how large the
ancient samples are and how successful the researchers
were at extracting the ancient DNA:

1. 48 samples successfully extracted in the ancient
British study.

2. 26 samples successfully extracted in the Etruscan

3. 48 samples successfully extracted from the
historical Basque site of Aldaieta.

4. 24 samples successfully extracted from Haak's study
(German and Eastern European).

5. 17 samples successfully extracted from the ancient
Iberian study.

6. 11 samples successfully extracted from the ancient
Cumerian cemetery.

7. Sorry, don't have the exact figure here, but I
think it is approximately 110 samples were recovered
from the prehistoric Basque sites, but do not recall
how many were successfully sequenced.

Ellen Coffman


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