Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More Comments on Grugni et al (2012)

In the J-L24 Blog of 28 Nov 2012 I mentioned that Grugni et al (2012) found L24(M530) at 12.2% frequency in Lebanon and that this lent support to the Phoenicians providing early movement of L24(M530) Y-chromosomes westward into the Mediterranean Sea islands and coastal countries and also onward to the coast of Portugal and beyond.

There are several comments that need to be added concerning the statement above. First of all, the 12.2% applies to people living in Lebanon today. It says nothing about the L24(M530) percentage (frequency) 100 years ago or 3600 years ago at the very beginning of the Phoenician maritime trading culture. There is no way to know what the L24(M530) frequency was in Phoenicia 3600 years ago of course.  All we can say is that if the L24(M530) frequency is 12.2% today in Lebanon then it was possibly some similar frequency 3600 years ago. It gives us some fragile evidence for the presence of L24(M530) in Phoenicia (Lebanon) thousands of years ago. It is not definitive. It makes me think however that every Galley, every Bireme, that left a Phoenician port probably had one or more L24(M530)'s aboard for a time period lasting over 1000 years. If nothing more, it "fires the imagination", but definite proof of Phoenicians being L24(M530) it is not.

The second comment is that the Phoenicians are only one of numerous possibilities for the movement of L24(M530) haplotypes, as indeed we know they did move, from their ancient origins in Iran (L24(xZ387) map). Prior to the Phoenicians there were the Minoans, a maritime power in the Aegean Sea. The Aegean Sea lies on the west side of Turkey and we already know of the L24(M530) presence in Turkey. The Y-DNA of Crete is discussed in the paper by King et al (2008). There is also an interesting post on Crete in Mathilda's Anthropology Blog. In King et al (2008) we find 5 cases out of 193 randomly selected haplotypes from Crete's Heraklion Prefecture (north-central and central Crete) that were found to be DYS445=6. 2008 was just before we learned of L24 and L25, but we know now that DYS445=6 is found only within haplogroup L24(M530), subclade L25, and subclade Z387. So right away we can say that L24(M530) is indeed found in Crete today and likely L24(M530) has been in Crete for some time, and possibly even during the time of the Minoans. So the Minoan mariners might also have been a source for the early spreading of L24(M530) Y-chromosomes. In fact King et al (2008) found 13 cases of DYS445<=10 all of which I believe are derived for L24(M530) and L25. Hopefully at some point these Cretan DYS445<=10 haplotypes will be tested for M530 which I am sure will provide even stronger evidence of L24(M530) in Crete. The Minoans and Ancient Greeks very likely played an early role in the frequency and high diversity of L24(M530) haplotypes we see today in Apulia, Italy as found by Grugni et al (2012). Later the Roman armies and auxiliaries played a role. Possibly even the Carthaginians under Hannibal (Battle of Cannae) played a role. Later still the Byzantine Empire, over a period of about 1000 years, very likely played a role in the movement of L24(M530) Y-chromosomes. Certainly the Jewish people played a role too, possibly a major role as we find Jewish subclades and subclusters throughout L24(M530) today. In any event, very likely, it was through multiple ways, in space and time, that L24(M530)'s moved from the Middle East into Europe. It wasn't by one isolated single event.

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