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New Genetic Study of Iberians

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New Genetic Study of Iberians Empty New Genetic Study of Iberians

Post Neon Knight on Mon 18 Mar - 8:42

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47540792 Selected quotes:

A migration from Central Europe transformed the genetic make-up of people in Spain during the Bronze Age, a study reveals. DNA evidence shows the migrants streamed over the Pyrenees, replacing existing male lineages across the region within 400 years. It remains unclear whether violence played a role or whether a male-centric social structure was more important.

The result comes from the most extensive study of its kind. Researchers reconstructed the population history of Iberia (modern Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra) over 8,000 years - the biggest slice of time tackled by a single ancient DNA study. The region has been a crossroads for different cultures over time.

Their study is published in Science journal. They extracted and analysed DNA from 403 Iberians who lived between 6,000 BC and AD 1,600. The Bronze Age migrants traced some of their ancestry to Neolithic (Stone Age) farmers found throughout Europe - including Spain - while the rest of their genetic make-up was like that of people living at the time on the Russian steppe. This steppe ancestry was introduced to Europe by nomadic herders who migrated west from Asia and the eastern fringes of Europe.

One of the triggers may have been a crisis that caused population numbers to plunge in Europe towards the end of the Neolithic period (which preceded the Bronze Age). Recent studies suggest plague might have played a role.

The researchers looked at the Y chromosome - a package of DNA passed down more or less unchanged from father to son. It can be used to track male-line inheritance. By about 2,000BC, local Y chromosome lineages had been eliminated from the Iberian gene pool, in favour of those carried by the newcomers.

When the team analysed DNA from across the genome - the full complement of genetic material found in the nuclei of cells - they found that later Iberians traced 40% of their ancestry to the new population. The newcomers - of Bell Beaker origin - brought innovations such as bronze-working (including the manufacture of bronze weapons) and were probably riding horses. These may have given them a military advantage over Stone Age farming societies, but also probably conferred higher social status on males carrying these traditions.

Looking at human remains from an earlier period, the study found that Stone Age hunter-gatherers who traced a significant percentage of their ancestry to some of Europe's earliest settlers, survived in southern Spain until the spread of farming 6,000 years ago.

The team also studied genome data from Moorish Spain (AD 711-1492), when parts of the peninsula were under the control of Muslim emirs of North African origin. North African influence was present in Iberia from at least the Bronze Age. But the researchers found a dramatic shift in the genetic make-up of people from Moorish-controlled regions after the medieval "Reconquista", when Christian armies seized back control of the peninsula. The conquerors expelled many Muslims, although some were allowed to stay if they converted to Christianity.

While many Moorish individuals analysed in the study seem to have been a 50:50 mix of North African and Iberian ancestry, North African ancestry in the peninsula today averages just 5%.

Modern Iberians derive about 50% of their ancestry from Neolithic farmers, 25% from ancient hunter-gatherers, and 20% from the steppe people.

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New Genetic Study of Iberians Empty Re: New Genetic Study of Iberians

Post OsricPearl on Tue 26 Mar - 15:31

Thanks for posting this one here too. There was some more N. African input added during the Roman Period. The modern day admixture patterns match the Roman settlements a lot better than the Moorish invasion. Most Romans settled in the west and north of the peninsula, which are areas that are less arid and have more metal resources. This leads me to believe that the bulk of the North African actually arrived during the Roman times. The Moorish occupation added some, of course, but not as much as people believe because of how strong a push back there was against the Moors in general. It was a cultural, not racial, rejection. Many of the "moors" kicked out of Spain and Portugal were really just Iberians with a slightly higher arab component.
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