Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-05 > 1180284587

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] The Basques and Scholarship
Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 09:49:47 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <00ce01c7a01c$2a01fbd0$1dc26a4a@PAKINCAID>


Yes, this is the point I tried to make earlier, about
Italy. I directed a number of questions at that time
to Rich, which I'm going to reiterate again in hopes
that they'll be answered.

Not only do Italians speak a IE language dated to
approximately the same time period as Celtic and
considered one of its closest IE cousins, but they
have been shown thus far in aDNA studies to be
unrelated to their Etruscan predecessors. They also
have very high frequencies of E3b and J. I assume
they have about 10% of I and R1a as well. The E3b and
J are important, given that parts of Italy, Greece,
and the Balkans (where we have lots of haplogroup I,
guys) were settled by Levantine agriculturalists as
early as 8000-7000 BC. Intriguingly, according to A &
G's study, this is about the time that one of the
earliest IE languages (yes, centum-based), Greek,
splits off from the IE tree. Two other early IE
languages - Hittite (considered the most archaic and
probably centum) was spoken in Asia Minor, and
Thracian, spoken in the Balkans, along with Illyrian.
Again, lots and lots of non-R1b haplogroups in these
regions, and they are present very, very early in
time, even prior to the Neolithic in some of these
regions. Haplogroup I, in fact, originates in the

Never did I think I would find myself in a position on
the list of defending a Mesolithic R1b position. Nor
am I in reality doing so, because I think the
alternative explanation of McEvoy makes a lot of
sense: long-term gene flow between the Atlantic fringe
areas allowing for the establishment of R1b
haplotypes. This is supported by the archaeological
record, in fact. Remember as well that the
"Neolithic" began in 8000 BC in many parts of Europe,
but in northwestern Europe, it began five thousand
years later.

But the alternative explanations being offered in this
thread seem so speculative to me that I feel obligated
to accept the role as devil's advocate. The Celts
don't begin to appear until much later as a
recognizable archaeological "culture" about 1000 BC,
long after the Neolithic arrives in the British Isles.
It seems farfetched to me that the Celts were
responsible, at this very late date in history, for
the establishment of R1b along the Atlantic fringe.
It frankly seems unlikely to me that any singular
culture is responsible for the established of R1b in
Europe. This argument also requires accepting that I
in the Balkans and E3b and J in many parts of southern
and southeastern Europe stayed put for thousands of
years after colonization, not migrating into Europe
until after the Celts about 3000 years ago? Or maybe
you are proposing that they were in Europe before your
R1b Celts and thus represent those genetic vestiges of
pre-Celtic, non-Rlb peoples I asked about previously.

You indicated, Rich, that answering such a question
isn't important to your argument. I disagree. What
happened to the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of
northwestern Europe in your scenario? Complete
extinction? How about the Neolithic settlers, because
they weren't the Celts, as the Celts didn't come along
until much later in time? We have tested some aDNA
Neolithic mtDNA remains - there is some continuity
(Haplogroup H), some discontinuity (Haplogroup N1a).

Furthermore, although I am no R1b expert, the highest
frequencies of R1b are being found along the fringes
of Europe, not from the interior, where the Celtic
Urnfield, Hallstatt and La Tene archaeological remains
are in fact found. Here, in these interior areas, you
have far more haplogroups than just R1b. You have I,
E3b, J2, Q, R1a, G2.

If we could return to my original request for
clarification, I asked the following questions: Is
your argument that R1b is attributable to
post-Neolithic invasions into Northwest Europe and can
be definitively linked to the origins of the Centum
branches of IE because today R1b is prevelant in the
region were centum languages are spoken. And that R1a
is responsible for the establishment of the Satem
branches of IE? If so, what did the population of
proto-IE look like, a mixture of just R1b and R1a,
with one group going west and the other east? And in
what region of Europe did this proto-IE group exist?
Are you limiting your argument regarding R1b=Celts to
Northwest Europe, or does it extend to all peoples of
Europe speaking Centum-based languages, including
Hittite, Italian, Greek and possibly Illyrian?

Ellen Coffman

--- "Peter A. Kincaid" <> wrote:

> >Today's Italians may mostly speak an
> Indo-Eupopean language
> but a significant and once dominant part was
> Etruscan.
> Peter
> -------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email
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