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Thread: I2a + mtDNA U + Vasconic = Mesolithic European?

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    I2a + mtDNA U + Vasconic = Mesolithic European?

    If the recent ancient DNA findings are any indication, it looks like this combination of Y-DNA haplogroup I and mtDNA haplogroup U may have made up the majority (entirety?) of all Mesolithic Europeans. Certainly others like I(xI2), mtDNA U2, etc would need to be thrown into the discussion as well.

    Of interest, I2a and U5b both have high frequencies in Basque Country and Sardinia when compared to their immediate neighbors. Earlier this year, Blasco-Ferrer made a case for Paleosardinian and Proto-Basque splitting from Pre-Proto-Basque sometime during the Mesolithic/Early Neolithic transition. Blasco's Paleosardinian toponyms are found in the center-east of the island which happens to be higher in I2a-M26.

    Then we have one of Vennemann's linguistic theory that defines Old European hydronyms as being Vasconic. While some of his theories are controversial, perhaps this one deserves a closer look based on genetics alone?
    Paternal: R1b-U152+ L2+ ZZ48+ FGC10543+, Pietro della Rocca, b. 1559, Agira, Sicily, Italy
    Maternal: Haplogroup H4a1-T152C!, Maria Coto, b. ~1864, Asturias, Spain
    Mother's Paternal: Haplogroup J1+ FGC4745/FGC4766+ PF5019+, Gerardo Caprio, b. 1879, Caposele, Avellino, Campania, Italy
    Father's Maternal: Haplogroup T2b-C150T, Francisca Santa Cruz, b.1916, Garganchon, Burgos, Spain

    Avatar: Raetian bronze votive, Fritzens-Sanzeno Culture VI-V c. BC, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy

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    I have long thought that R1b was not the original Vasconic y haplogroup but merely became prevalent via admixture and drift. It never made sense to me that the bulk of R1b could have been Vasconic speaking and yet, despite its overwhelming predominance in Western Europe, preserve that speech only among a numerically small, isolated people. It seemed more likely to me that R1b was Indo-European speaking and that the Basques had become mostly R1b over time and yet had somehow managed to preserve their speech. Otherwise you have the far less likely scenario of a very large population totally dropping its original language or languages and becoming IE-speaking versus a small, non-IE group simply acquiring a new predominant y haplogroup. The smallest degree of change makes the most sense to me.

    I also think we, as males, tend to underplay the influence of women in transmitting language. If the Basques had a matrilocal tradition, as I read somewhere that they did, then the groom went to live with the bride's family. That means the children would have been raised speaking mom's language, and the husband would have had to speak it, too. Such a tradition is tailor-made for the female-vectored preservation of a language and the masking of a y-dna transfer from another ethno-linguistic culture.
    Last edited by rms2; 12-26-2013 at 03:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard A. Rocca View Post
    If the recent ancient DNA findings are any indication, it looks like this combination of Y-DNA haplogroup I and mtDNA haplogroup U may have made up the majority (entirety?) of all Mesolithic Europeans. Certainly others like I(xI2), mtDNA U2, etc would need to be thrown into the discussion as well.

    Of interest, I2a and U5b both have high frequencies in Basque Country and Sardinia when compared to their immediate neighbors. Earlier this year, Blasco-Ferrer made a case for Paleosardinian and Proto-Basque splitting from Pre-Proto-Basque sometime during the Mesolithic/Early Neolithic transition. Blasco's Paleosardinian toponyms are found in the center-east of the island which happens to be higher in I2a-M26.

    Then we have one of Vennemann's linguistic theory that defines Old European hydronyms as being Vasconic. While some of his theories are controversial, perhaps this one deserves a closer look based on genetics alone?
    Certainly when we look at Sardinian YDNA being primarily I2a1(YDNA I is northern Euro HG) + G2a3 (LBK farmer) as the two primary founding lineages of the island, we can see how Sardinia was first settled. It looks like all of the R1b there is probably mostly Italian U152 and various others, and Phoenician R1b-V88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard A. Rocca View Post
    Of interest, I2a and U5b both have high frequencies in Basque Country and Sardinia when compared to their immediate neighbors.
    Most of the Basque U5b are in a single subclade of U5b1f (which I'll tentatively call U5b1f1a) that I estimate to be about 3000 years old, so the high frequency of U5b among the Basque is likely due to a recent founder event. If you exclude U5b1f, the Basque U5 frequency and its distribution among U5 subclades are very similar to surrounding populations.

    So in terms of the origins of the Basque, the mtDNA seems to indicate a common maternal history with other populations in southwestern Europe, and the high U5b1f frequency seems to indicate cultural or geographic separation and genetic drift in the mtDNA during the last 3000 years.

    The Sardinian samples have a large percentage of U5b3a1a. So I think this indicates the difficulty of using uniparental DNA to assess origins of small populations in which genetic drift might affect the haplogroup distribution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    If the Basques had a matrilocal tradition, as I read somewhere that they did, then the groom went to live with the bride's family. That means the children would have been raised speaking mom's language, and the husband would have had to speak it, too. Such a tradition is tailor-made for the female-vectored preservation of a language and the masking of a y-dna transfer from another ethno-linguistic culture.
    I think this is supported by the mtDNA. U5b1f has an ancient Iberian origin, at least 10,000 ybp, and I would guess that U5b1f1a was introduced recently into a small founding Basque population. Approximately 11% of the Basque are U5b1f1a, and I think it is remarkable to find such a high percentage of a relatively young subclade within a population.

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    Thanks to GailT for the inputs. Theories expressed by the others don’t fit:
    1) U5b3 is the unique haplogroup that scholars said born in Italy (so far) and is very ancient
    2) R-V88 not only has 24 “Sardinian” SNPs, but its subclade more diffused (M18) is in Corsica at an overwhelming percentage not known elsewhere, and Corsican Y cannot be ascribed to Phoenicians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard A. Rocca View Post
    Of interest, I2a and U5b both have high frequencies in Basque Country and Sardinia when compared to their immediate neighbors. Earlier this year, Blasco-Ferrer made a case for Paleosardinian and Proto-Basque splitting from Pre-Proto-Basque sometime during the Mesolithic/Early Neolithic transition. Blasco's Paleosardinian toponyms are found in the center-east of the island which happens to be higher in I2a-M26.

    Then we have one of Vennemann's linguistic theory that defines Old European hydronyms as being Vasconic. While some of his theories are controversial, perhaps this one deserves a closer look based on genetics alone?
    I can't agree. There are several objections:

    • Hunter-gathers spread over an area the size of Europe would not all be speaking the same language. See The Linguistic Diversity of Aboriginal Europe http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=980
    • Vennemann's theory on Old European hydronyms cannot be supported linguistically. Larry Trask, as expert on Basque, pointed out that 'None of the roots or suffixes listed by Vennemann for Old European looks anything like Basque, save for the root *iz- ‘‘water’’.
    • Sardinia was settled in the Neolithic by people making Cardial pottery. These people were not local hunter-gatherers. Far from it. The island had been empty for a thousand years before they arrived. The Cardial makers came by sea from the east and also moved up the Garonne to what is now Gascony. So the I2a link could relate to Cardial-makers. Said Cardial people undoubtedly had an ultimate origin in the Near East. They carried Near Eastern stock and seed, not to mention bringing pottery techniques of Near Eastern origin. I2 seems to be a European Mesolithic haplogroup that was caught up in the Cardial strand of the Neolithic (or part of it). That would explain why modern-day Sardinians appear strong in the autosomal element EEF (see Lazaridis 2013 http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...-for-Europeans ) But:
    • Sardinia had a significant increase in population with the arrival of copper-working c. 4000 BC, probably from the Balkans.
    • Basque appears to be a Copper Age language.
    Last edited by Jean M; 12-26-2013 at 04:58 PM.

  11. #8
    The problems I see in addition to Jean's list is that I doubt all Mesolithic Europeans belonged to the same lineage. I think R1a, I1 and N1c will be found eventually. Plus I2's range was probably larger than the area proposed for having a Vasconic substrate (doesn't even include all of Western Europe).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    I can't agree. There are several objections:

    • Hunter-gathers spread over an area the size of Europe would not all be speaking the same language. See The Linguistic Diversity of Aboriginal Europe http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=980
    • Vennemann's theory on Old European hydronyms cannot be supported linguistically. Larry Trask, as expert on Basque, pointed out that 'None of the roots or suffixes listed by Vennemann for Old European looks anything like Basque, save for the root *iz- ‘‘water’’.
    • Sardinia was settled in the Neolithic by people making Cardial pottery. These people were not local hunter-gatherers. Far from it. The island had been empty for a thousand years before they arrived. The Cardial makers came by sea from the east and also moved up the Garonne to what is now Gascony. So the I2a link could relate to Cardial-makers. Said Cardial people undoubtedly had an ultimate origin in the Near East. They carried Near Eastern stock and seed, not to mention bringing pottery techniques of Near Eastern origin. I2 seems to be a European Mesolithic haplogroup that was caught up in the Cardial strand of the Neolithic (or part of it). That would explain why modern-day Sardinians appear strong in the autosomal element EEF (see Lazaridis 2013 http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...-for-Europeans ) But:
    • Sardinia had a significant increase in population with the arrival of copper-working c. 4000 BC, probably from the Balkans.
    • Basque appears to be a Copper Age language.
    I think I2a can probably be ruled out as a neolithic lineage in all cases now. I am also in agreement that the YDNA I lineage must have been swept up by incoming farmers and been absorbed into the settlement of Sardinia. The other old lineages are G2a3 and R1b-V88

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADW_1981 View Post
    I think I2a can probably be ruled out as a neolithic lineage in all cases now.
    You cannot be saying that no I2a+ existed in the Neolithic. So perhaps you mean that I2a* (L460/PF3647/S238) was born in Europe before farming arrived there? We can indeed deduce that, given that we have I2a1b* (M423) as early as 6000 BC in Europe. If I understand Ken Nordvedt's tree correctly, he estimates that I2a* was born around the time of the Last Glacial Maximum. http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/T...r%20Hg%20I.pdf

    However - this is the tricky bit - its descendants did not necessarily arrive before the Neolithic where they are now found. A whole lot of haplogroup I men seem to have been involved in one migration or another from the Mesolithic onwards, right up to the movements we can actually trace in pedigrees today.

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