Study Clarification V

February 7, 2010

This study claims Sub-Saharan African affinities in a Byzantine population from southwest Turkey, excavated at the archeological site of Sagalassos, and ridiculously extrapolates from that similar affinities in Mesolithic and Neolithic populations throughout North Africa, West Asia and Europe. The problem is, none of it is supported either by the present data or the other sources cited.

[NB: The study is much more noteworthy for demonstrating once again the Caucasoid affinities of Ancient Egyptians and Nubians, which the Afrocentrists who quote it selectively always fail to notice.]


Cranial Discrete Traits in a Byzantine Population and Eastern
Mediterranean Population Movements

Ricaut and Waelkens (2008)
Human Biology

Link to Abstract

Misused Quotes:

Finally, as noted previously, intriguing affinity patterns of the Sagalassos population have been detected without obvious explanations: on the one hand, with two populations from northern and central Europe (Scandinavia and Germany); and on the other hand, with two sub-Saharan populations (Somalia and Gabon).


From the Mesolithic to the early Neolithic period different lines of evidence support an out-of-Africa Mesolithic migration to the Levant by northeastern African groups that had biological affinities with sub-Saharan populations.


Affinities with Somalis are easy enough to explain, owing to that population's Caucasoid ancestry. Affinities with Gabon not so much. But it turns out that these are tenuous at best and not manifested in all of the data:

Finally, a detailed review of the different statistical tests (MMDst; MDS and Ward clustering) shows that the unexpected biological proximity of some northern and central European and sub-Saharan populations to the Sagalassos population is not supported to the same significance. Indeed, as seen by the MMDst values displayed in Table 3, Scandinavians and Germans (MMDst of 0.72 and 1.02, respectively) present stronger affinity to Sagalassos than populations from Somalia and Gabon, which have nearly significant MMDst values (1.68 and 1.93, respectively). In addition, only the biological affinity between the Sagalassos and Scandinavian populations suggested by the MMDst values is preserved when all the comparative populations are considered (see Figures 2 and 3).

Indeed, Figures 2 and 3 demonstrate that the true affinities of the Sagalassos population (and also the Ancient Egyptians and Nubians) are with Western Eurasians/Caucasoids:

The MDS representation of the global data set of 28 populations (Figure 2) shows roughly three main population clusters: (1) Central, Northeast, and East Eurasian populations, which are found in the top left; (2) West Eurasian and ancient Egyptian and Sudanese populations in the lower part; and (3) recent sub-Saharan populations in the top right. The Sagalassos population clusters with the second group and is most closely related to Greek, Cypriot/Turkish, and Scandinavian populations.

The dendrogram produced by Ward's clustering procedure for the global data set is shown in Figure 3 and provides a relatively similar representation of the MMDst distance matrix than that provide by the MDS analysis. The populations clearly fall into two groups. The first main group can be broken down into two subgroups: (1) all the recent sub-Saharan populations and (2) mainly Central, East, and Northeast Eurasians. West Eurasians form the second main group, which is also subdivided into two subgroups. One of these subgroups includes all the eastern Mediterranean populations (three ancient Egyptian/Sudanese populations from Naqada, Gizeh, and Kerma as well as the Cypriot/Turkish, Greek, and Sagalassian populations) and the Scandinavian sample; the second subgroup includes the other West Eurasian populations.

Yet even with this admitted lack of support for their main claim, the authors go on to speculate at length about how these non-existent "Sub-Saharan morphological elements" could have entered the Sagalassos population, which leads them to cite all sorts of dubious conclusions about Nazlet Khater Man, Mesolithic Nubians, Natufians and Neolithic Farmers, all tied together with the genetic "evidence" of adaptive sickle cell and North African haplogroup E-M78.

Another perfectly good study marred by poor analysis that unfortunately plays right into the hands of people with an Afrocentric racial agenda.


Anonymous said...

The link to the full text is not working.

Is there any alternative link to access the paper ?