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Thread: Assyrian y-DNA Haplogroup Distribution1561 days old

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    Default Assyrian/Lebanese Maronite y-DNA Distribution Comparison

    Assyrian y-DNA distribution compared to Lebanese Maronite y-DNA distribution. Lebanese Maronite data source: Y-Chromosomal Diversity in Lebanon Is Structured by Recent Historical Events. Two Assyrian samples (J2, G), from the Lebanon study, were included as part of the Assyrian y-DNA sample set (as they will be going forward).

    Same chart, two views. Maronite J2 3x Assyrian J2. Assyrian R1b 3x Maronite R1b. I did not expect that. Although I was not expecting parity, particularly regarding J2, such disparate a percentage, to me, is difficult to make sense of. Any folks care to opine?
    Last edited by Humanist; 2012-07-24 at 23:52.
    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
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    I think it just goes to show that we Assyrians are more akin genetically to the people of Anatolia/southern Caucasus (Turks, Armenians, Kurds) than to Levantines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgh View Post
    I think it just goes to show that we Assyrians are more akin genetically to the people of Anatolia/southern Caucasus (Turks, Armenians, Kurds) than to Levantines.
    Could this not also, possibly, be explained, by a genetic bottleneck? Perhaps a founder effect? For example, assuming, for argument's sake, that the original ruling classes of the Assyrian Empire were predominantly J2, and after the fall (~600BC), the great majority of Assyrians that survived, were of the farming classes. With most men carrying the J2 y-DNA now longer capable of perpetuating their lines, what remained of the Assyrians, the farmers, managed to maintain the continuity of our people, at least from a cultural perspective, but forever lost part of our original y-DNA identity.
    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humanist View Post
    Assyrian y-DNA distribution compared to Lebanese Maronite y-DNA distribution. Lebanese Maronite data source: Y-Chromosomal Diversity in Lebanon Is Structured by Recent Historical Events. Two Assyrian samples (J2, G), from the Lebanon study, were included as part of the Assyrian y-DNA sample set (as they will be going forward).

    Same chart, two views. Maronite J2 3x Assyrian J2. Assyrian R1b 3x Maronite R1b. I did not expect that. Although I was not expecting parity, particularly regarding J2, such disparate a percentage, to me, is difficult to make sense of. Any folks care to opine?
    You know what would be interesting? Comparing some of our results with other FTDNA projects, the one I'm interested in the most would be the Armenian project.

    Also another question, how come sometimes FTDNA does not assign proper haplogroups? For example they just put G or I when clearly there are some major differences, for instance I1 is Scandinavian while I2 is Bosnian-Croatian, these are some major differences.
    Last edited by birko19; 2010-04-27 at 17:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humanist View Post
    Could this not also, possibly, be explained, by a genetic bottleneck? Perhaps a founder effect? For example, assuming, for argument's sake, that the original ruling classes of the Assyrian Empire were predominantly J2, and after the fall (~600BC), the great majority of Assyrians that survived, were of the farming classes. With most men carrying the J2 y-DNA now longer capable of perpetuating their lines, what remained of the Assyrians, the farmers, managed to maintain the continuity of our people, at least from a cultural perspective, but forever lost part of our original y-DNA identity.
    Possibly but honestly nothing about our history indicates that the ruling classes were of a different background (ethnically, genetically) from the farmers. The Assyrians have always been a small group (even in ancient times) and closely related to one another...I think the genetic profile of any individual Assyrian is no different from other Assyrians. And yes we've gone through several episodes of major population decline in our long history (600 B.C. for ex) and as recently as WWI. But again I don't think that the people we lost in WWI were any different genetically from those who survived. But what is surprising to me is how low J2 is in our population. It originated in Mesopotamia or Eastern Anatolia I believe yet the Lebanese who are further away from that region possess more of it than we do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgh View Post
    Possibly but honestly nothing about our history indicates that the ruling classes were of a different background (ethnically, genetically) from the farmers. The Assyrians have always been a small group (even in ancient times) and closely related to one another...I think the genetic profile of any individual Assyrian is no different from other Assyrians. And yes we've gone through several episodes of major population decline in our long history (600 B.C. for ex) and as recently as WWI. But again I don't think that the people we lost in WWI were any different genetically from those who survived. But what is surprising to me is how low J2 is in our population. It originated in Mesopotamia or Eastern Anatolia I believe yet the Lebanese who are further away from that region possess more of it than we do.
    Why are you surprised? Haplogroups don't really mean much when speaking about ethnic groups unless the ethnic group was in isolation.

    Modern Assyrians do have some elements from different backgrounds, remember that for the past 2000 years it was Christianity that shaped us up (We became known as Syrians based on that but the term really means Assyrians), and for the past 1500 years we've been led by our churches which in turn had ties to some non-Assyrians roots that eventually came in and became Assyrianized.

    The proof of this is some of our ancient Christian figures such as Rabban Hurmiz (There's a famous monastery in Alqosh after him), Mar Qardakh, Mar Bahram, so on, these were all Iranian figures that lived among Assyrians and spoke our language thus became Assyrianized, or how about Mar Sauma or Mar Yabalaha who were of Turk background? Or perhaps Hulago and his Mongols who were very good to us due to the Nestorian connection, then there's Greek and possibly Crusader elements on the Western Assyrian side.

    Ancient and modern Assyrians are alike, they're both a mix of Semitic speakers, Caucasians, Anatolians, Iranians, and some Europeans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by birko19 View Post
    Why are you surprised? Haplogroups don't really mean much when speaking about ethnic groups unless the ethnic group was in isolation.

    Modern Assyrians do have some elements from different backgrounds, remember that for the past 2000 years it was Christianity that shaped us up (We became known as Syrians based on that but the term really means Assyrians), and for the past 1500 years we've been led by our churches which in turn had ties to some non-Assyrians roots that eventually came in and became Assyrianized.

    The proof of this is some of our ancient Christian figures such as Rabban Hurmiz (There's a famous monastery in Alqosh after him), Mar Qardakh, Mar Bahram, so on, these were all Iranian figures that lived among Assyrians and spoke our language thus became Assyrianized, or how about Mar Sauma or Mar Yabalaha who were of Turk background? Or perhaps Hulago and his Mongols who were very good to us due to the Nestorian connection, then there's Greek and possibly Crusader elements on the Western Assyrian side.

    Ancient and modern Assyrians are alike, they're both a mix of Semitic speakers, Caucasians, Anatolians, Iranians, and some Europeans.
    I'm surprised that J2, which originated in Mesopotamia/East Anatolia, is more present in Lebanese than Assyrians considering that the latter live and have lived in the region where J2 originated. Yes I know that we have absorbed some foreign elements into our gene pool but my point is that all Assyrians have a similar genetic profile. Humanist posited a scenario...that possibly J2 was reduced in our population because the Assyrian upper class was destroyed and they were the main carriers of that haplotype (bottleneck). I'm saying that the ruling class did not differ genetically from the farmers who survived the downfall of Assyria. The Assyrians who were lost in various massacres throughout history did not have a different genetic profile from those who survived. So that being the case I'm surprised that J2 is not more common in our population.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgh View Post
    I'm surprised that J2, which originated in Mesopotamia/East Anatolia, is more present in Lebanese than Assyrians considering that the latter live and have lived in the region where J2 originated. Yes I know that we have absorbed some foreign elements into our gene pool but my point is that all Assyrians have a similar genetic profile. Humanist posited a scenario...that possibly J2 was reduced in our population because the Assyrian upper class was destroyed and they were the main carriers of that haplotype (bottleneck). I'm saying that the ruling class did not differ genetically from the farmers who survived the downfall of Assyria. The Assyrians who were lost in various massacres throughout history did not have a different genetic profile from those who survived. So that being the case I'm surprised that J2 is not more common in our population.
    I'm not surprised at all actually for various reasons:

    - The sample size is 50 men, while not bad but it could easily change, it's almost random.
    - How do we know what haplogroup the ancient group belonged to? Since that information is not available, we're just taking shots in the dark.
    - Haplogroups only tell a migration story, it's not very useful to define a nation or a group unless that group has been isolated, in our case and certainly the case of ancient Assyrians, we're far from isolation.

    Here's a good example, one of the most popular haplogroups in India today is J2, in fact the amount of J2 there is so high in some populations that they might as well be called Middle Easterners if we go by that logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by birko19 View Post
    I'm not surprised at all actually for various reasons:

    - The sample size is 50 men, while not bad but it could easily change, it's almost random.
    - How do we know what haplogroup the ancient group belonged to? Since that information is not available, we're just taking shots in the dark.
    - Haplogroups only tell a migration story, it's not very useful to define a nation or a group unless that group has been isolated, in our case and certainly the case of ancient Assyrians, we're far from isolation.

    Here's a good example, one of the most popular haplogroups in India today is J2, in fact the amount of J2 there is so high in some populations that they might as well be called Middle Easterners if we go by that logic.
    I'm trying to figure out why a haplotype that originated so close to (if not in) our homeland is more frequent in a population that is further from that area. Even if haplotypes tell a story of migration, what does that tell us about J2? Yes we don't know anything about the genetic profile of the ancient group so it is speculation whether they had more or less of J2 or whether it was more concentrated in the elites. In regards to the Indian population I guess it does indicate that some of their ancestors were from the Middle East/eastern Mediterranean region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgh View Post
    I'm trying to figure out why a haplotype that originated so close to (if not in) our homeland is more frequent in a population that is further from that area. Even if haplotypes tell a story of migration, what does that tell us about J2? Yes we don't know anything about the genetic profile of the ancient group so it is speculation whether they had more or less of J2 or whether it was more concentrated in the elites. In regards to the Indian population I guess it does indicate that some of their ancestors were from the Middle East/eastern Mediterranean region.
    Sometimes the samples given can bring random results, 50 men is simply not enough to give an indication on the haplogroups, not to mention some haplogroups are probably stronger in certain areas than others for random reasons, basically I think it's all random, at least in our case since we lived in a melting pot.

    The other thing is J2 was not the only haplogroup that originated close to our homeland, J1 and T are two others, not to mention that R1b along with G might have also originated close to our regions.
    Last edited by birko19; 2010-04-27 at 22:03.

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