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Haplogroups – From the Craddle

Haplogroups:

Genes and Languages in the Caucasus

Quite a few ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations flourished in territories where J2 lineages were preponderant. This is the case of the Hattians, the Alaroidians, the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Etruscans, the Minoans, the Greeks, the Phoenicians (and their Carthaginian offshoot), the Canaaites, the Israelites, and to a lower extent also the Romans, the Assyrians and the Persians. All the great seafaring civilisations from the middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age were dominated by J2 men.

Haplogroup J2 is thought to have appeared somewhere in the Middle East towards the end of the last glaciation, between 15,000 and 22,000 years ago. Its present geographic distribution argue in favour of a Neolithic expansion from the Fertile Crescent.

This expansion probably correlated with the diffusion of domesticated of cattle and goats (starting c. 8000-9000 BCE) from the Zagros mountains and northern Mesopotamia, rather than with the development of agriculture in the Levant (which seems to have been linked to haplogroup G and perhaps also E1b1b).

A second expansion of J2 could have occured with the advent of metallurgy (also from Anatolia and Mesopotamia) and the rise of some of the oldest civilisations.

Haplogroup J1 is a Middle Eastern haplogroup, which probably originated in eastern Anatolia, near Lake Van in central Kurdistan. Eastern Anatolia being the region where goats, sheep and cattle were first domesticated in the Middle East, haplogroup J1 is almost certainly linked to the expansion of pastoralist lifestyle throughout the Middle East and Europe.

Haplogroup G is believed to have originated around the Middle East during the late Paleolithic, possibly as early as 30,000 years ago. At that time humans would all have been hunter-gatherers, and in most cases living in small nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes. Members of this haplogroup appear to have been closely linked to the development of early agriculture in the Levant part of the Fertile Crescent, starting 11,500 years before present.

There has so far been ancient Y-DNA analysis from only four Neolithic cultures (LBK in Germany, Remedello in Italy and Cardium Pottery in Southwest France and Spain), and all sites yielded G2a individuals, which is the strongest evidence at present that farming originated with and was spread by members of haplogroup G.

So far, the only G2a people negative for subclades downstream of P15 or L149.1 were all from the South Caucasus region. The highest genetic diversity within haplogroup G is found between the Levant and the Caucasus, another good indicator of its region of origin.

It is thought that early Neolithic farmers spread from the Levant westwards to Anatolia and Europe, eastwards to Mesopotamia and South Asia, and southwards to the Arabian peninsula and North and East Africa. The domestication of goats and cows first took place in the mountainous region of eastern Anatolia, including the Caucasus and Zagros. This is probably where the roots of haplogroup G2a (and perhaps of all haplogroup G) are to be found.

J1, J2, T and G are to be associated with the Near East’s pre-Semitic civilizations. The Aloridians was replaced by the Semites in Levant and Syria and the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. The Semitic languages is related to the tribal tongues of the desert nomads from Syria to Palestine.

Semitic people and languages are typically associated with haplogroups E1b1b, T, J1 and J2. Akkadian being from northern Mesopotamia, where J2 is prevalent, early Akkadian speakers were likely to belong overwhelmingly to this haplogroup. However, it is likely that the deeper origins of all Afroasiatic languages start exclusively with haplogroup E.

Haplogroup E1b1b (formerly E3b) represents the last direct major migration from Africa into Europe. It is believed to have first appeared in the Horn of Africa (some also suggest southern Africa) approximately 26,000 years ago and dispersed to the Middle East during the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods.

E1b1b1a1 (or E-M78, formerly E3b1a) is the most common variety of haplogroup E among Europeans and Near Easterners. E-M78 is thought to have migrated out of Egypt in the Mesolithic or Neolithic to colonise the Middle East, where it mixed with the indigenous inhabitants belonging to haplogroups J and G.

The Phoenicians, from the Levant, also contributed to the spread of E1b1b1a (as well as J2, Q and T) to places such as Cyprus, Malata, Sardinia, Ibiza and southern Iberia. The lower incidence of E1b1b1a in Syria and Anatolia is almost certainly due to the competition from the other major Neolithic haplogroups : G2 and J2.

In the case of the Elamites their civilization was centered in the west and the southwest of modern-day Iran, and their language related to Dravidian and languages of the Indus civilization. This South Asian origin could correspond to the relatively high frequency of haplogroup L (and minor presence of H) in southern Iran.

Furthermore, the Akkadians are known to have deported many of them in various parts of their empire, as far as the Levant. This would explain the presence of hg L at low frequencies in the Middle East, and notably the Levant.

The Medes and Persians are supposed to be the Indo-European invaders who brought R1a (and maybe other haplogroups) into the Middle East.

Origins, age, spread and ethnic association of European haplogroups and subclades

Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup J2 is thought to have appeared somewhere in the Middle East towards the end of the last glaciation, between 15,000 and 22,000 years ago. Its present geographic distribution argue in favour of a Neolithic expansion from the Fertile Crescent. This expansion probably correlated with the diffusion of domesticated of cattle and goats (starting c. 8000-9000 BCE) from the Zagros mountains and northern Mesopotamia, rather than with the development of agriculture in the Levant (which seems to have been linked to haplogroup G and perhaps also E1b1b). A second expansion of J2 could have occured with the advent of metallurgy (also from Anatolia and Mesopotamia) and the rise of some of the oldest civilisations.

Quite a few ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations flourished in territories where J2 lineages were preponderant. This is the case of the Hattians, the Hurrians, the Etruscans, the Minoans, the Greeks, the Phoenicians (and their Carthaginian offshoot), the Israelites, and to a lower extent also the Romans, the Assyrians and the Persians. All the great seafaring civilisations from the middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age were dominated by J2 men.

There is a distinct association of ancient J2 civilisations with bull worship. The oldest evidence of a cult of the bull can be traced back to Neolithic central Anatolia, notably at the sites of Çatalhöyük and Alaca Höyük. Bull depictions are omnipresent in Minoan frescos and ceramics in Crete. Bull-masked terracotta figurines and bull-horned stone altars have been found in Cyprus (dating back as far as the Neolithic, the first presumed expansion of J2 from West Asia). The Hattians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Canaaites, and Carthaginians all had bull deities (in contrast with Indo-European or East Asian religions). The sacred bull of Hinduism, Nandi, present in all temples dedicated to Shiva or Parvati, does not have an Indo-European origin, but can be traced back to Indus Valley civilisation. Minoan Crete, Hittite Anatolia, the Levant, Bactria and the Indus Valley also shared a tradition of bull leaping, the ritual of dodging the charge of a bull. It survives today in the traditional bullfighting of Andalusia in Spain and Provence in France, two regions with a high percentage of J2 lineages.

Geographic distribution

Distribution of haplogroup J2 in Europe, the Middle East & North Africa

Distribution map of haplogroup J2

The world’s highest frequency of J2 is found among the Ingush (88% of the male lineages) and Chechen (56%) people in the Northeast Caucasus. Both belong to the Nakh ethnic group, who have inhabited that territory since at least 3000 BCE. Their language is distantly related to Dagestanian languages, but not to any other linguistic group. However, Dagestani peoples (Dargins, Lezgins, Avars) belong predominantly to haplogroup J1 (84% among the Dargins) and almost completely lack J2 lineages. Other high incidence of haplogroup J2 are found in many other Caucasian populations, including the Azeri (30%), the Georgians (27%), the Kumyks (25%), and the Armenians (22%). Nevertheless, it is very unlikely that haplogroups J2 originated in the Caucasus because of the low genetic diversity in the region. Most Caucasian people belong to the same J2a4b (M67) subclade. The high local frequencies observed would rather be the result of founder effects, for instance the spread of chieftains and kings’ lineages through a long tradition of polygamy, a practice that the Russians have tried to suppress since their conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century.

Outside the Caucasus, the highest frequencies of J2 are observed in Cyprus (37%), Crete (34%), northern Iraq (28%), Sicily (26.5%), Lebanon (26%), Turkey (24%, with peaks of 30% in the Marmara region and in central Anatolia), South Italy (23.5%), Bulgaria (20%), Albania (19.5%), and continental Greece (19% excluding northern Greece), as well as among Jewish people (19 to 25%).

One fourth of the Vlach people (isolated communities of Romance language speakers in the Balkans) belong to J2, which, combined to the fact that they speak a language descended from Latin, suggests that they could have a greater part of Roman (Italian) ancestry than other ethnic groups in the Balkans.

History & Subclades

Phylogenetic tree of haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA) - Eupedia

Two main subclades divide haplogroup J2: J2a (M410, L152, L212/PF4988, L559/PF4986) and J2b (M12, M102, M221, M314).

Middle-Eastern and European J2a

J2a’s strong presence in Italy is owed to the migration of the Etruscans from the Near East to central and northern Italy, and to the Greek colonisation of southern Italy.

The Phoenicians, Jews, Greeks and Romans all contributed to the presence of J2a in Iberia. The particularly strong frequency of J2a and other Near Eastern haplogroups (J1, E1b1b, T) in the south of the Iberian peninsula, suggest that the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians played a more decisive role than other peoples. This makes sense considering that they were the first to arrive, founded the greatest number of cities (including Gadir/Cadiz, Iberia’s oldest city), and their settlements match almost exactly the higher frequency zone of southern Analusia.

The Romans surely helped spread haplogroup J2 within their borders, judging from the distribution of J2 within Europe (frequency over 5%), which bears an uncanny resemblance to the borders of the Roman Empire.

The world’s maximum concentrations of J2a is in Crete (32% of the population). The subclade J2a4d (M319) appears to be native to Crete.

Indian J2a

Within India, J2a is more common among the upper castes and decreases in frequency with the caste level. This can be explained by the assimilation of local J2a (and R2) people from Central Asia by the R1a Indo-European warriors who descended from modern Russia (Sintashta culture) and established themselves for a few centuries in southern Central Asia, immediately north of the Hindu Kush (including the Oxus civilization) before moving on to conquer the Indian subcontinent. J2a would have reached southern Central Asia with the expansion of Middle Eastern people during the Neolithic and mixed with the local hunter-gatherers belonging chiefly to R2 (and possibly some pre-Indo-European R1a).

J2b

Haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA)

J2b has a quite different distribution from J2a. J2b seems to have a stronger association with the Chalcolithic cultures of Southeast Europe, and is particularly common in the Balkans, Central Europe and Italy, which is roughly the extent of the European Copper Age culture. Its maximum frequency is achieved around Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Northwest Greece. J2b is also found in the Pontic Steppe, the North Caucasus, Central Asia and in South Asia, particularly in India. Its very low frequency in the Middle East though suggests that, unlike for J2a, it was not spread a progresive and continuous diffusion of the Neolithic lifestyle. For this reason, and because it is generally found among the upper castes of India, it is thought that some J2b lineages might have been part of the Indo-Aryan invasions of South Asia (3,500 years ago) alongside R1a1a. It is conceivable that a minority of J2b, G2a3b1 and R1b1b from the Caucasus region migrated to the Volga-Ural region in the early Bronze Age, spreading with them the Proto-Indo-European language and bronze technology to the Caspian steppe before the expansion of this new culture to Central and South Asia.

Haplogroup J1 is a Middle Eastern haplogroup, which probably originated in eastern Anatolia, near Lake Van in central Kurdistan. Eastern Anatolia being the region where goats, sheep and cattle were first domesticated in the Middle East, haplogroup J1 is almost certainly linked to the expansion of pastoralist lifestyle throughout the Middle East and Europe.

Geographic distribution

Distribution of haplogroup J1 in Europe, the Middle East & North Africa

Distribution map of haplogroup J1

Frequencies og haplogroup J1 in Europe and West Asia tend to vary considerably from one regional community to the next. The highest local percentages in Europe are found in Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal and hardly ever exceed 5% of the population. However Italy, France and Spain also have areas where J1 appears completely absent. Even in northern Europe, where the nation-wide frequencies are below 0.5%, very localised pockets of J1 have been observed in Scotland, England, Belgium, Germany and Poland. Larger sample sizes are needed to get a clearer picture of the distribution of J1 in Europe.

Surpisingly, even in the Caucasus and in Anatolia, the region where this haplogroup is thought to have originated, there are wide discrepancies between regions. For example, the Kubachi and Dargins from Dagestan in the Northeast Caucasus have over 80% of J1 lineages, while in their Ingush neighbours, 200 km to the north, it barely reaches 3%. East Anatolia around Lake Van sees over 30% of J1, whereas Southwest Anatolia has only 2%. Even within Kurdistan frequencies vary greatly. The small sample sizes for each region is surely to blame.

In Arabic countries, J1 climaxes among the Marsh Arabs of South Iraq (81%), the Sudanese Arabs (73%), the Yemeni (72%), the Bedouins (63%), the Qatari (58%), the Saudi (40%), the Omani (38%) and the Palestinian Arabs (38%). High percentages are also observed in the United Arab Emirates (35%), coastal Algeria (35%), Jordan (31%), Syria (30%), Tunisia (30%), Egypt (21%) and Lebanon (20%). Most of the Arabic J1 belongs to the J1c3 variety.

Subclades


Phylogenetic tree of haplogroup J1 (Y-DNA) - Eupedia

J1 can be divided in two main groups: the very large J1-P58 subclade, and the other branches of J1.

J1-P58 (J1b2 on the ISOGG tree, formerly known as J1c3) is by far the most widespread subclade of J1. It is a typically Semitic haplogroup, making up most of the population of the Arabian peninsula, where it accounts for approximately 40% t 75% of male lineages. The dominant lineage in the Arabian peninsula is J1-L147.1, which corresponds to the demographic explosion that followed the Muslim conquest in the 7th century CE.

L147.1 is also the Cohen Modal Haplotype. Roughly half of all Cohanim belong to the L147.1 subclade. In the Hebrew Bible the common ancestor of all Cohens is identified as Aaron, the brother of Moses.

J1-P58 is thought to have expanded from eastern Anatolia to the Levant, Taurus and Zagros mountains and the Arabian peninsula at the end of the last Ice Age (12,000 years ago) with the seasonal migrations of pastoralists. Arabic speakers recolonised the Arabian peninsula in the Bronze Age from the north-west of the peninsula, close to modern Jordan. The rise of Islam in the 7th century CE played a major part in the re-expansion of J1 from Arabia throughout the Middle East, as well as to North Africa, and to a lower extent to Sicily and southern Spain.

Like haplogroup G, J1 might have been of the principal lineages to bring domesticated animals to Europe. Both G and J1 reach their maximal frequencies in the Caucasus, some ethnic groups being almost exclusively J1 (Kubachis, Kaitaks, Dargins, Avars), while others have extremely high levels of G (Shapsugs, North Ossetians). Most of the ethnic groups in the North Caucasus have between 20 and 40% of each haplogroup, which are by far their two dominant haplogroups. In the South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan), haplogroup J2 comes into the admixture and is in fact slightly higher than either J1 or G. Most of the Caucasian J1 is at present J1*, meaning that at present no common SNP has been identified that could form a new subclade. Armenia stands out of the lot by having a substantial J1c3d minority (at least one third of all J1, i.e. roughly 4% of the population).

Haplogroup G2a (Y-DNA)

Origins

Haplogroup G is believed to have originated around the Middle East during the late Paleolithic, possibly as early as 30,000 years ago. At that time humans would all have been hunter-gatherers, and in most cases living in small nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes. Members of this haplogroup appear to have been closely linked to the development of early agriculture in the Levant part of the Fertile Crescent, starting 11,500 years before present. There has so far been ancient Y-DNA analysis from only four Neolithic cultures (LBK in Germany, Remedello in Italy and Cardium Pottery in Southwest France and Spain), and all sites yielded G2a individuals, which is the strongest evidence at present that farming originated with and was spread by members of haplogroup G.

So far, the only G2a people negative for subclades downstream of P15 or L149.1 were all from the South Caucasus region. The highest genetic diversity within haplogroup G is found between the Levant and the Caucasus, another good indicator of its region of origin. It is thought that early Neolithic farmers spread from the Levant westwards to Anatolia and Europe, eastwards to Mesopotamia and South Asia, and southwards to the Arabian peninsula and North and East Africa. The domestication of goats and cows first took place in the mountainous region of eastern Anatolia, including the Caucasus and Zagros. This is probably where the roots of haplogroup G2a (and perhaps of all haplogroup G) are to be found.

Geographic distribution

Nowadays haplogroup G is found all the way from Western Europe and Northwest Africa to Central Asia, India and East Africa, although everywhere at low frequencies (generally between 1 and 10% of the population). The only exceptions are the Caucasus region and Sardinia, where frequencies typically range from 15% to 30%.

Most Europeans belong to the G2a subclade, and most northern and western Europeans more specifically to G2a-L141.1 (or to a lower extend G2a-M406). About all G2b (L72+, formerly G2c) Europeans are Ashkenazi Jews. G2b has also been found around Afghanistan, probably as an offshoot of Neolithic farmers from the Levant.

Haplogroup G1 is found predominantly in Iran, but is also found in the Levant, among Ashkenazi Jews, and Central Asia (notably in Kazakhstan).

G2a makes up 5 to 10% of the population of Mediterranean Europe, but is fairly rare in Northern Europe. The only places where haplogroup G2 exceeds 10% of the population in Europe are Cantabria, Switzerland, the Tyrol, south-central Italy (Molise, Central and Southern Apennine), Sardinia, northern Greece (Thessaly) and Crete – all mountainous and relatively isolated regions.

Distribution of haplogroup G in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

Distribution of haplogroup G in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East

Expansion of agriculture from the Middle East to Europe (9500-3800 BCE)

Expansion of agriculture from the Middle East to Europe (9500-3800 BCE)

Subclades

Phylogenetic tree of haplogroup G2a (Y-DNA) - Eupedia

History of G2a

There are several theories regarding the origin of G2a in Europe. There are doubtlessly cumulative rather than exclusive.

Neolithic mountain herders

Chronologically, the first hypothesis is the advance of Neolithic farmers and herders from Anatolia to Europe between 9,000 and 6,000 years ago. In this scenario the Caucasian migrants would have brought with them sheep and goats, which were domesticated south of the Caucasus arbout 12,000 years ago. This would explain why haplogroup G is more common in mountainous areas, be it in Europe or in Asia.

The geographic continuity of G2a from Anatolia to Thessaly to the Italian peninsula, Sardinia, south-central France and Iberia already suggested that G2a could be connected to the Printed-Cardium Pottery culture (5000-1500 BCE). Ancient DNA tests conducted on skeletons from a LBK site in Germany as well as a Printed-Cardium Pottery site in southern France (Languedoc-Roussilon) as well as in Spain all confirmed that Neolithic farmers in Europe belonged primarily (even exclusively if assimilated local population are omitted) to haplogroup G2a.

Nowadays G2a is found mostly in mountainous regions of Europe, for example, Cantabria (over 10%) in northern Spain, Switzerland (10%), Austria (8%), Auvergne (8%) in central France, the mountainous parts of Bohemia (5 to 10%), and Wales (4%). It may be because Caucasian farmers sought hilly terrain similar to their original homeland, perhaps well suited to the raising of goats. But it is more likely that G2a farmers escaped from Bronze-Age invaders, such as the Indo-Europeans and found shelter into the mountains.

G2a-P303, the Indo-European branch of G2a

The presumed homeland of R1b1 and Pre-Proto-Indo-European speakers is assumed to be in northern Anatolia and/or the North Caucasus. The Caucasus itself is a hotspot of haplogroup G. Therefore, it is entirely conceivable that a minority of Caucasian men belonging to haplogroup G (and perhaps also J2b) integrated the R1b community that crossed the Caucasus and established themselves on the northern and eastern shores of the Black Sea sometime between 7,000 and 5,000 BCE. Those Proto-Indo-European would have belonged evolved to R1b1b2a1 and G2a-P303 (G2a1c2a, formerly known as G2a3b1a) before their epic conquest of Europe starting timidly in the Balkans around 4000 BCE and completed when all the Atlantic fringe from Iberia to the British Isles was settled, around 2000 BCE. Contrarily to other branches of G2a, which are more prevalent in mountainous areas, G2a-P303 is found uniformy throughout Europe, even in Scandinavia and Russia. More importantly, G2a-P303 is also found in India, especially among the upper castes. The combined presence of G2a-P303 across Europe and India is a very strong argument in favour of an Indo-European origin. The coalescence age of G2a-P303 also matches the time of the Indo-European expansion during the Bronze Age.

Roman redistribution

It is most likely that G2a arrived in Europe during the Neolithic or the Bronze Age and that the Romans helped spread it around, the whole of Italy being relatively rich in G2a. Migrations within the Roman Empire probably contributed to a moderate increase of G2a northward to Gaul and Britain, Indeed, the frequency of haplogroup G decreases with the distance from the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Haplogroup G is extremely rare Nordic and Baltic countries nowadays, despite the fact that agriculture reached those regions around the same time as Britain or Ireland. This may just be a coincidence, because the forested lowlands of northern Germany, Poland and northern Europe happen to be poor in metals and would not have attracted Bronze-Age workers from the Caucasus. North-East Europe also has a fairly modest frequency of R1b, which further reinforces the correlation between the two haplogroups.

Alanic G2a1a

G2a1a lineages have been found sporadically in Central and Western Europe. The only ethnic group that has a majority of haplogroup G2a1a nowadays are the Ossetians in the North Caucasus, in the modern Russian Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. They are thought to descend directly from the Alans, a Central Asian tribe related to the ancient Samartians. Could it be that these European G2a1a individuals are direct descendants from the ancient Alani (or Alans), a tribe that invaded the Roman Empire in the late 4th and early 5th centuries?

The Alans are recorded to have settled in the northeast Azov Sea area at the the beginning of the 1st century. They created a kingdom that quickly expanded to control all North Caucasus region, from the shores of the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Around 370, the Alans were overwhelmed by the Huns. They were divided into several groups, some of whom fled westward. Some of these western Alans joined the Vandals and the Suevi in their invasion of Roman Gaul. They crossed of the Rhine on 31st December 406. One group of Alans settled in the Seine basin, from Champagne to Upper Normandy, with smaller settlements as far as Brittany and the Loire valley. In 451, the Alans defeated Attila and Hun at the Battle of Châlons, near Reims.

Another contingent of Alans migrated to Iberia (Castile and Andalusia) alongside the Vandals. In 429, a group of Vandals and Alans crossed over to North Africa, where they established a kingdom. They took Carthage (present-day Tunis) in 439, then conquered Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and the Balearic Islands in the next few years, and sacked Rome in 455. The Alano-Vandalic Kingdom would last until 534, when it was defeated by and annexed to the Byzantine Empire.

Although the original Alanic elite from Central Asia surely belonged primarily to haplogroup R1a, the people who had become known as the Alans after three centuries of rule in the North Caucasus were mostly local G2a1a people.

Commercial Y-DNA tests (notably at FTDNA) have so far found G2a1a members in Hungary, Italy (Sicily, Calabria), England and Spain (Castile, Andalusia). All these people have close STR matches with North Ossetians, and almost nobody else, confirming the Alanic link. Although the Alans never went to England, they settled in what would become Normandy, and it is therefore only natural that some of these lineages ended up in England. France having laws restricting the purchase of commercial DNA tests there is very little data at the moment.

Scythian G1

Haplogroup G1 is the South and Central Asian branch of haplogroup G. While G2a men migrated west to Anatolia and Europe in the Neolithic, their G1 cousins migrated east to Persia and India. Only very rare cases of G1 have been found in Europe, including in Britain, Germany, as well as most of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe. How did these G1 lineages get there ?

Central Asia became a merging zone for southern G1 and J2 lineages with northern R1a lineages during the Bronze and Iron Ages. New hybrid peoples were formed, like the Scythians, who once controlled an empire ranging from northern Pakistan to Xinjiang and to Ukraine. The Romans were known to recruit Scythian or Sarmatian horsemen in their legions. According to C. Scott Littleton in his book From Scythia to Camelot, several Knights of the Round Table were of Scythian origin, and the the legend of Holy Grail itself originated in ancient Scythia. This hypothesis was also taken up in the 2004 movie King Arthur, which opens with the arrival of Scytho-Roman cavalry in Britain. However, Scythians were steppe people more likely to belong to haplogroup R1a. If any of them did belong to G, they presumably were G1, not G2a. This would explain the scattered cases of G1 in north-western Europe though. G2a1b1 (M286), which also been found in Britain and Anatolia (and nowhere in between so far), is another potential candidate.

Haplogroup E1b1b (Y-DNA)

Origins

Haplogroup E1b1b (formerly E3b) represents the last direct major migration from Africa into Europe. It is believed to have first appeared in the Horn of Africa (some also suggest southern Africa) approximately 26,000 years ago and dispersed to the Middle East during the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods.

Geographic distribution

Distribution of haplogroup E1b1b in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa

Distribution map of haplogroup E1b1b

On the European continent it has the highest concentration in north-west Greece, Albania and Kosovo, then fading around the Balkans, the rest of Greece and Western Turkey. Outside Europe, it is also found in most of the Middle East, northern and eastern Africa, especially in Morocco, Libya, Egypt Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Subclades


Phylogenetic tree of haplogroup E1b1b (Y-DNA) - Eupedia

E1b1b1a1 (or E-M78, formerly E3b1a) is the most common variety of haplogroup E among Europeans and Near Easterners. E-M78 is thought to have migrated out of Egypt in the Mesolithic or Neolithic to colonise the Middle East, where it mixed with the indigenous inhabitants belonging to haplogroups J and G.

The Phoenicians, from the Levant, also contributed to the spread of E1b1b1a (as well as J2, Q and T) to places such as Cyprus, Malata, Sardinia, Ibiza and southern Iberia. The lower incidence of E1b1b1a in Syria and Anatolia is almost certainly due to the competition from the other major Neolithic haplogroups : G2 and J2.

E-M78 is divided into 4 main branches : E1b1b1a1 (E-V12), E1b1b1a2 (E-V13), E1b1b1a3 (E-V22) and E1b1b1a4 (E-V65), each further subdivided in “a” and “b” subclades.

E-V13 is one of the major markers of the Neolithic diffusion of farming from the Levant. Like all the other subclades of E1b1b1a, E-V13 originated in North-East Africa around the end of the last Ice Age. Its frequency is now far higher in Greece, South Italy and the Balkans than anywhere else due to a founder effect, i.e. the migration of a small group of settlers carrying mostly this lineage (but also a small amount of other North-East African lineages, notably E-M123 and T). Archeological evidence shows that the region of Thessaly, in northern Greece, was the starting point (circa 6,000 BCE) for the diffusion of agriculture through the Balkans and the Danube basin, as far as northern France to the west and Russia to the east. Th