Ancient North Eurasians from Siberia

September 3, 2020

Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) is a genetic component that traveled mainly east into Native Americans, but also west into Europeans. It's represented by pre-historic individuals discovered in Siberia:

Here we sequence the draft genome of an approximately 24,000-year-old individual (MA-1), from Mal'ta in south-central Siberia. [...] Similarly, we find autosomal evidence that MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and genetically closely related to modern-day Native Americans, with no close affinity to east Asians. [...] Sequencing of another south-central Siberian, Afontova Gora-2 dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures as MA-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.

Though MA-1 is slightly more Western than Eastern Eurasian genetically, it's actually intermediate and way outside the range of Modern Europeans and Caucasoids:

In the first two principal components, MA-1 is intermediate between modern western Eurasians and Native Americans, but distant from east Asians.

When it's included in an admixture analysis, it comes out as a mix of Western Eurasians and the different Eastern Non-Africans that it shares ancestry with:

The ancient samples appear to be mostly West Eurasian in their ancestry, although the hunter gatherers are also inferred to have greater or lesser extents of an eastern non-African (ENA) component lacking in Stuttgart. [...] We note that the ancestry proportions in ancient samples like MA1 are more likely explained by shared ancestry than admixture. This is more likely to explain the nearly three-way distribution of South Asian, West Eurasian and Native American (plus Northeast Siberian) ancestry proportions in MA1, than three-way admixture of established populations.

Admixture from MA1 (and AG2) is highest in Eastern Hunter-Gatherers (EHG), then Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers (SHG), then Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG):

Application of this methods highlights the impact of Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) ancestry related to the ~22,000 BCE Mal'ta 1 and ~15,000 BCE Afontova Gora 2 on populations living in Europe, the Americas, and Eastern Eurasia. Eastern Eurasians can be modelled as arrayed along a cline with different proportions of ANE ancestry, ranging from ~40% ANE in Native Americans matching previous findings, to no less than ~5-10% ANE in diverse East Asian groups including Han Chinese. We also document a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia. Eastern Hunter Gatherers (EHG) derive ~3/4 of their ancestry from the ANE; Scandinavian hunter-gatherers (SHG) are a mix of EHG and WHG; and WHG are a mix of EHG and the Upper Paleolithic Bichon from Switzerland.

After Native Americans, then Siberians, it's Northern and Eastern Europeans that have the highest ANE admixture because they have the most EHG (which came mainly with Bronze Age migrations from the Russian Steppe):

We find that genetic affinity to MA-1 is greatest in two regions: first, the Americas; and second, northeast Europe and northwest Siberia, with north-to-south latitudinal clines in shared drift with MA-1 in both Europe and Asia.

(redder circles = more affinity, bluer = less)

Here's the genetic cline formed by Modern Europeans stretching from Caucasoid Neolithic Farmers (Stuttgart) towards ANE:

By using BedouinB instead of Stuttgart, we can also plot Stuttgart in the space of these statistics. Europeans uniformly share more drift with MA1 than with Karitiana, and form a cline in this space with slope >1. Karitiana, because of its Ancient North Eurasian ancestry was crucial in detecting the presence of such ancestry in Europeans but can now be replaced in the study of this ancestry by a better proxy for this ancestry (MA1).

Raghavan et al. "Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans". Nature, 2014.

Lazaridis et al. "Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans". Nature, 2014.

Lazaridis et al. "Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East". Nature, 2016.

Related: Phenotypes of Hunters and Farmers

Phoenicians and Moors Were Caucasoid

August 20, 2020

Afrocentrists claim that Phoenicians and Moors were black, but most of these ancient samples from colonies in Iberia are a mix of North African, Levantine and Southern European (Local Iberian), clustering very close to Europeans because North Africans are Caucasoid. Only two samples from the later Muslim period have Sub-Saharan African admixture (37% and 48%) and they cluster far away from the rest. Modern Iberians have much less of all this admixture (~7% North African and 0% Sub-Saharan African) and cluster with other Europeans.

In the southeast, we recovered genomic data from 45 individuals dated between the 3rd and 16th centuries CE. All analyzed individuals fell outside the genetic variation of preceding Iberian Iron Age populations (Fig. 1, C and D, and fig. S3) and harbored ancestry from both Southern European and North African populations (Fig. 2D), as well as additional Levantine-related ancestry that could potentially reflect ancestry from Jewish groups (21). These results demonstrate that by the Roman period, southern Iberia had experienced a major influx of North African ancestry, probably related to the well-known mobility patterns during the Roman Empire (22) or to the earlier Phoenician-Punic presence (23); the latter is also supported by the observation of the Phoenician-associated Ychromosome J2 (24). Gene flow from North Africa continued into the Muslim period, as is clear from Muslim burials with elevated North African and sub-Saharan African ancestry (Fig. 2D, fig. S4, and table S22) and from uniparental markers typical of North Africa not present among pre-Islamic individuals (Fig. 2D and fig. S11). Present-day populations from southern Iberia harbor less North African ancestry (25) than the ancient Muslim burials, plausibly reflecting expulsion of moriscos (former Muslims converted to Christianity) and repopulation from the north, as supported by historical sources and genetic analysis of present-day groups (25). The impact of Muslim rule is also evident in northeast Iberia in seven individuals from Sant JuliĆ  de Ramis from the 8th to 12th centuries CE who, unlike previous ancient individuals from the same region, show North African–related ancestry (Fig. 2C and table S19) and a complete overlap in PCA with present-day Iberians (Fig. 1D).

Olalde et al. "The genomic history of the Iberian Peninsula over the past 8000 years". Science, 2019.

Related: Moors Expelled from Sicily and Southern Italy

"Dark" and "Swarthy" Europeans Are Still Light

July 3, 2020

We've seen how olive skin is misunderstood by people to mean "tan" or "non-white", now let's look at the same thing with words like "dark" and "swarthy" used to describe the complexions of Europeans. People treat them as evidence against "whiteness", but they're really just exaggerations of reality.

Benjamin Franklin applied them to a lot of groups that are far from dark, basically lumping all whites who weren't Anglo-Saxon into a "swarthy" group with non-whites, including some who are probably lighter than English people:

All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth.

Another well-known example of this kind of exaggeration is English ideas about the so-called "Black Irish". They're really just white people from the British Isles (not just Ireland) who have dark hair and eyes and a Mediterranean appearance — like Colin Farrell, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sean Connery, Mr. Bean, Russell Brand and many others — but old school Nordicists used to claim that part of the Celtic physiognomy was "black-tinted skin":

But even when applied to "darker" Southern Europeans, they're still an exaggeration, like in this passage from White on Arrival about how Italian gangsters were portrayed in the media:

Al Capone was constantly portrayed in books, magazine articles, pulps, and movies as having a "dark" or "swarthy" complexion. When he appeared in court in 1929 in Philadelphia on charges of having concealed a weapon, the Chicago Daily News noticed that his "face, which is rather dark, assumed a dull reddish hue." No one emphasized Italians' dark features more than popular writer and former newsman Walter Burns. In his book, The One-Way Ride, Johnny Torrio was "a slight, dapper, dark young man"; gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi had "dark faces"; the Genna brothers were "swarthy, black haired, black eyed, looked not unlike Arabs, and probably had in their ancestral strain a strong dash of Saracenic [North African] blood".

From these descriptions you'd probably picture really dark Saudi Arabians or maybe even mixed-race Berbers, but here's what those people actually looked like (the rare mugshot of Capone has been skillfully colorized to show his blue eyes):

Al Capone
Genna Brothers

Johnny Torrio
John Scalise and Albert Anselmi

So the lesson is to not take descriptions like that literally or as meaning something "non-white". Europeans (including Southern Europeans) actually have the lightest untanned skin in the world, so even when they're "dark" or "swarthy", they're still lighter than everyone else.

Related: Al Capone: From "Dark" to "Fair"