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Basque autosomal genetics

11 Aug
A somewhat interesting paper on Basque genetics in a pan-European and Mediterranean perspective:
Kristin L. Young et al., Autosomal short tandem repeat genetic variation of the Basques in Spain. Croatian Medical Journal, 2011. Freely available at PubMed Central.
The authors studied allele frequencies for 9 autosomal STR loci (D3S1358, D5S818, D7S820, D8S1179, D13S317, D18S51, D21S11, FGA, and vWA) in Basques and other populations of Europe, West Asia and North Africa. 
The formal conclusions are that individual Basque provincial subpopulations have low heterozygosity (genetic diversity) for European standards and that there is no relevant genetic connection between Basques and either Caucasus or North African peoples that could justify the corresponding linguistic hypothesis. 
This is not new but at the very least it does say that genetics does not support at all the Vasco-Caucasian linguistic hypothesis, at least if this one is understood as Neolithic genetic and linguistic flow from the Caucasus (or anywhere nearby). 
Of some interest is fig. 2:

Multidimensional Scaling plot of genetic distance between 27 populations (click to expand)

Which I decided to annotate a bit:

click to expand

Comments on the notes:
PC1 is described mostly by the red horizontal axis between Navarre and Scotland and seems to define internal European variation (what is logical because most populations are Europeans). The axis has a Basque vs Scottish distinction and I think it points to pre-Neolithic differences.
PC2 is described by the two blue vertical axes and it seems to indicate an opposition of the like of European vs Transmediterranean (West Asian or North African, which are dumped together by a negative definition). It is notable however that Turks are outside this group and cluster instead with those Europeans (Greeks, Tuscans) who show a greater tendency (admixture) towards the Transmediterranean zone. In the opposite pole of barely diluted Europeanness stand Catalans, most Basques (except those from Araba/Alava), Scots, Polish and, curiously enough Murcians. 
The position of Murcians is interesting and I think that easy to explain from the viewpoint that Murcia shows no Cardium Pottery settlement, as far as I know. Not even geometric Epipaleolithic (second Epipaleolithic wave, from “France”, related to Tardenoisian/Azilian) and this is why I annotated Azilian zone over there. I was going to write Pyrenean zone when I saw Murcia right there and thought again.
Murcians also seem to stand out as relatively “Northern-looking” in the context of Southern Iberia, at least according to what Heraus and I discussed some time ago at his blog, this may be for relative lack of Transmediterranean admixture (compare in the chart above with their Valencian and Andalusian neighbors), which is in agreement with what I think I know of Murcian deep origins. 
Cantabrians in comparison stand as Basque-like but also with marked Transmediterranean admixture (low in the vertical axis). This may have to do with the high presence among them of Transmediterranean Y-DNA lineages like E1b or J. At the moment (recent findings) it seems that there is a much older Neolithic arrival to Cantabria (and Enkarterriak) than to most of the Basque Country, what may be an explanation.
Why are Catalans so strong in the axis of Europeanness? Were not they affected by Cardium Pottery colonization. In fact Catalonia was probably more colonized than Murcia: there was one single known colony (as far as I know) at Cova de Montserrat. All the rest are assimilated natives. Later Catalonia has a quite autonomous prehistory of their own until mainland European influences arrive with Urnfield culture (Celts?) and later Goths and Franks. Still there may be an element of fluke in the sample, whose quality I could not ponder because it is referred to an older pay-per-view study.
Scots are also quite a curiosity. A lot of ink has been wasted trying to relate Scots and Irish with Basques and what not. This is because of commonality of European Paleolithic persistence in the blood of all these peoples but otherwise there is no particular relation. Even recently Steven Oppenheimer was in a gig through the Basque Country sowing confusion on this matter and claiming happily that the Irish are some sort of Basques
This and other studies clearly indicate otherwise: when the samples allow, Basques and Scots (or Welsh or Irish too) can even describe the main axis of difference at pan-European levels. Both populations show strong index of Europeanness (vertical axis) but are otheriwse different (horizontal axis). 
Not wanting to go into any depth with the label, I described them as the Nordic Pole (toying of course with the concept of North Pole). The late Paleolithic or Epipaleolithic origins of this pole are to be surely found, at least partly in the Hamburgian-Ahrensburgian-Maglemosean cultural sequence. And it is indeed true that the first Scots were of Ahrsensburgian culture. However there should be another Neolithic component from Brittany and West France, originally related surely to the Tardenoisian-Sauveterrean side of Epi-Magdalenian, proper of Northern France and the Rhine-Danube province. To much of a complexity to ponder here, where the data does not allow for more.
A brief mention of the Tuscans is almost obligatory (or I will suffer the ires of some readers no doubt). They are high in Transmediterranean influence (as expected) but they are also high in Nordicness, more than any other population except Scots themselves. It is difficult to judge here but I suspect this has to do with the high frequency of similar looking people between North Italy and Britain (not just any Nordic area, specifically Great Britain but also those more classically Nordic in this island). This connection is tenuous, elusive and hard to explain but since I have dabbled with human anthropometry I have once and again found this connection where some (not all) North Italians look, not like Austrians, Sud-Slavs or even French, but rather like Brits. I say this with all kind of doubts but I feel I must open my heart in this matter anyhow.

See also the preliminary discussion at the previous post‘s comment section, an old post on Achilli 2008, where the mtDNA PCA had some similarities with this one, and Bauchet 2007, where again there are some similitudes (but also some differences ) with how the data behaves in this study.

Update: it may be interesting to compare with Nelis et al. 2009 (open access) which also address European autosomal genetics from a particular ethno-geographic perspective, that of Estonians. There are differences and elements of similitude, notably that the overall European structure that we are more or less used to see in more generalist papers is in these two cases perceived from certain perspective and therefore somewhat distorted (sample size rules).

This is not a bad thing at all, it is a feature and not any bug: these kind of locally focused studies on the wider continental region, add unique complementary perspectives but also help us to understand better how relatively minor changes on the emphasis of the samples can alter very much the results. And that is why one study on Europeans will emphasize N/S differences while other emphasizes E/W ones instead for example. And that’s why certain study (for example all those with focus on the Jewish genetic place in the World) can put all Europe quite linearly in dependence of, say, West Asia (where there is diversity barely indicated here) and then another one put all Europe as a function of the Pyrenees and little more.

The funny thing is that both are right and that a more holistic perspective and great care on the weight given to each population for reason of the samples used are needed to see the whole picture properly.

Update (Aug 12): Dienekes just mentions another paper focused on a single population (Armenians in this case) within their wider West Eurasian context. It is particularly comparable with this one because the methods (a handful of STR sites) are very similar.

However, the results are very different: where Basques are extreme, Armenians (black dots) are in the middle:

This attends to geography, genetic isolation and history/prehistory. Similarly in the previous counter-example of Estonians, these are somewhat extreme but only because their Finnish relatives are even more extreme than they are.

Comments closed since Sep-20-2011.

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173 responses to “Basque autosomal genetics

  1. ᧞eandertalerin

    August 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    So, Neolithic people look exactly like the average European (i.e, there are no differences between Europeans and Neolithic farmers?)?Tuscans are deviated towards the nordic pole? Scots are the least related to Basques? What if we add a Yoruban or Chinese population in the graphics? Would they appear to be as related to Basques are to Scots? Catalans aren't related at all to Valencians, nor Murcians nor Tuscans? It's difficult to believe, because they're basically a mixture of Iberians (whatever this means) and central Europeans.Overall, I think this graphic has very low credibility, maybe due to biased, old, bas quality, etc, samples. I'm pretty sure a second sample of Scots has many chances to appear much closer to Basques.

     
  2. Maju

    August 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    This sample has limitations, I understand, not because of numbers but because of number of sites studied (9 STR sites and nothing more). In comparison there are papers around dealing with I do not know how many Kbytes of DNA info, which would seem to be more informative. Another bias may be that Basques (and secondarily Iberians) are oversampled – not too sure because most non-Basque sample references are from PPV papers and no details are provided.But the results are not crazy: they are within expectations, assuming this kind of Basque/Iberian focus. Similar studies have been done with Estonians and other populations. If you look at the Estonian paper however there are some differences:1. Estonians cluster tightly, Basques are spread around in the geometry. This is probably because Estonians are a homogeneous people while Basques hide a greater diversity at least across sub-regions. 2. Estonians are rather towards the middle and do not define any pole (Finnish, Latvians and South Italians do instead). Estonians are defined by Finnish and Latvians and in greatest contrast to South Italians. Basques instead define one pole and are not defined by any other peoples (except negatively) – they'd be more like the Finns of the Estonian paper, what makes total sense because both are "extreme" populations. 3. Both positive poles in the Estonian study are concentrated in Kuusamo Finns: the NE European or Baltic pole (vs. Mediterranean Europeans) of PC1 and the Finnish (vs. Baltic and other Europeans) of PC2. Thanks to the inclusion of non-European peoples, maybe, this simple polarity is broken in this paper: here Basques play the role of Finns (in relation to PC2) and Scots of Latvians, while Catalans play the role of Finns (in relation to PC1) and the Transmediterranean pool that of South Italians. The PC1/2 axis would be exchanged. The results make sense, just that the (relative) oversampling of certain regions emphasizes certain perspective, the same that the relative oversampling of Estonians and neighbors emphasizes certain somewhat different perspective in the Estonian/European study caste.

     
  3. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    August 12, 2011 at 2:09 am

    The really striking element of the PCA plot to me is not where particular points lie, but the immense diversity of these data points in Spain and Southern France relative to other larger geographic expanses of Europe.A long day's drive from Southern France and round and about Spain covers far more territory on the PCA map than a grand European tour from Portugal to Belgium to Germany to Poland to the Russia to Bosnia to Hungary to Austria to Switzerland, all of which cluster together tightly on these measures.It is the scatter and not the orientation of these Spanish-Basque data points that make the strongest case of the local populations having more ancient ancestry than most of the rest of Europe.Similar reasoning supports the positions of Scotland, which is surely at least somewhat older in population origins than Britain, of Turkey and Greece, near the approximate points of origin of most modern humans into Europe, of Georgia which has not been heavily touched by migration since the Bronze Age and probably much earlier, and North Africa which has exhibited from population continuity with pre-Neolithic populations than almost anywhere else.Viewed in polar coordinates, the distance out from the European core looks like a good measure of population antiquity, and the let-right dimension looks like a remnant Upper Paleolithic North-South cline that has been obliterated in much of European by the replacement of the autochronous population by Neolithic era or later replacements, and the top-bottom dimension seems to mostly capture a secondary North-South cline of more recent origins that particularly marks the divide between North Africa and Southern Europe – it might be an iron age relic parallel to European Y-DNA hg E distributions.

     
  4. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Excepting Portugal, all those populations you mention belong to the well known Central-North European cluster, which, in Bauchet and other papers is quite homogeneous and contrasts with both the Iberian and Basque clusters. However Scotland should also belong to that cluster and in this chart, it is completely apart. I'd say that because of the use of only 9 markers, the result is subject to some randomness. But also that this paper is one of the few that has no Finnish sample, what may sooth quite a bit the tendency towards exaggeration by the North. You do not need to resort to replacement in Central-North Europe to explain, that area has quite limited Paleolithic origins anyhow: in the LGM, most Europeans lived exactly in the area that raises your eyebrows so much: SW Europe (also Hungary/Moravia).

     
  5. Jesús Sanchis

    August 12, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I am very sceptical about any conclusions drawn from the current samples of Iberian or French genetic material. First of all, it would be necessary to conduct a comprehensive and systematic data collection, like the one that has recently been carried out in the British Isles (Winney et al 2011), which also includes the (highly interesting and relevant) analysis of surnames. It makes little sense to try to draw conclusions from sparse and unevenly distributed samples.Another interesting thing to do would be to carry out more research on the ancient DNA of Franco-Iberians. In his post, Maju talks about Paleolithic, Naolithic and other prehistoric events, but I think in some cases, for example Murcia or Valencia, it is necessary to talk about Middle Ages repopulation after the fall of the Muslims. This a historical event which is clearly recordeed in history books, with comprehensive lists of newcomers (e.g. in the 'Carta de Repoblament'). The genetic input of these populations in areas like Valencia or Murcia is supposed to be enormous. The new settlers came mostly from Catalonia, Aragon and SE France, but also from Navarre and Gascony. Surnames like 'Gascó' are common in Valencia, as well as 'Avinyó', 'Perpinyà' or 'Rosselló'. Then we have other inputs of population, like the Irish or German people who settled in some areas after the War of Succession or the great amount of people from Malta who arrived in the area in the 18 c., and whose surnames are still quite common: Sicluna, Minsut, Samit, even Barberà (though this one can also be of Catalan origin). What sense does it make to talk about Neolithic or Paleolithic without a clear and systematic study of the data with the inclusion of all possible intervening historical events?

     
  6. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Murcia was a Christian vassal under Cordoba (and later under Denia and others), it need not be "repopulated" or even converted back or almost. Also Reconquista "repopulation" is horribly overrated in general. I expect to deal with Winney 2011 soon but I do not think it's such an important paper. It does not even provide mtDNA or autosomal comparisons and the best I can gather from it is a Y-DNA map to be done (which is no novelty). I am somewhat skeptic of surnames studies and, looking at Winney 2011 I found very difficult to find a logic for their method of estimating locality of surnames, really. It's nothing described with any clarity at all. On the other hand, Dienekes just mentioned a similar study on Armenians (also with a limited set of STR sites) and again the results are very different, with Armenians falling towards the center of the PC graph (along with East Balcanic and Highland West Asian peoples). PC1 axis: South Asia vs. NW Africa, PC2 axis: lowland West Asia and Egypt vs Europe (incl. Georgia, and polarized towards Russia). Sadly none of the "outlier" populations in this study (save the "Transmediterranean" group, which are totally reorganized in relation to Armenians) are included, so we can't know how Basques, Catalans or Scots would have performed in this graph, though I imagine that towards the European pole (negative PC2) and rather extreme in it.

     
  7. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Also Iberia is rather well sampled, if not so well researched (not exactly the same thing). France is very poorly sampled and even worse researched and is the main handicap here.

     
  8. Jesús Sanchis

    August 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I think you misunderstand the aim of Winney et al's article. Basically, what they do is present the survey, especially how the data were collected, both DNA and surnames. A pilot study of a proportion of the data is also provided. Obviously, the important results will appear in due time, when the data are thoroughly analysed. When you read the article you will realize that there's no other genetic survey anywhere in the world with such comprehensiveness and systematicity. I doubt very much that serious population genetics research can be done if those standards are not met.When you read the article you will also realize the potential of surname analyses as an additional tool in this type of research.I'm not trying to overstate the role of 'Reconquista' migration, and in fact, as you know, I'm generally against invasion-massive migration types of explanation, but what we have here, e.g. the Valencian case (I don't know so much about Murcia), is probably the clearest and most detailed example of recorded migration following the conquest of a territory in the Middle Ages (13c.). It is a relevant event that must necessarily be taken into consideration in the genetic history of these territories, not as a marginal note but as an essential element.

     
  9. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Jesús: I admit that I have read the paper a bit fast (I usually do the first time, so it's normal) but I value the paper for what it offers in terms of data: and Y-DNA data is all I found (unless you're interested in HLA haplotypes, which I find more annoying than useful actually).

     
  10. ᧞eandertalerin

    August 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    There's another problem: most Catalans, Basques, Valencians, etc, have ancestors from other parts of Spain; their ancestors arrived in recent times (during 50's-60's). As for Catalonia, the vast majority of its population have at least one Andalusian, Murcian, Extremaduran, etc, ancestor. If the authors took the samples from Barcelona or a big city, it's likely they were sampling a mix of people from different parts of Spain, perhaps not being representative of "native" Catalans.

     
  11. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    When you sample "Catalans" you normally do not sample "Catalans of Andalusian ancestry" but with four Catalan grandparents or something like that. The Basque samples of Alonso 2008 were so extreme in this criterion that he asked for all four grandparents from the same district or even town (can't recall), what is obviously too much (and he admitted to it in his paper: +3 for sincerity). This is done in order to counter as much as possible recent admixture, which normally is useless for our goals.

     
  12. Jesús Sanchis

    August 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    The recent UK survey, as described by Winney et al, includes the four-granparents criterium, plus a measure of geographic distance that is also recorded. For obvious reasons, they try to avoid populations from big towns or cities. One of the good things about this UK survey is that you get a lot of samples (more than 4,000) using exactly the same criteria in all the different areas, which is a solid basis for further research.

     
  13. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    The measure of geographic distance, which is what matters, is not clear: I was looking at it once and again yesterday I could not understand which was their criterion (what's MLQ?) to describe a surname as local or not. Also, how local is for example Smith? We know that this kind of surnames, like García or López in Spain, have arisen many different times in many different places. Instead rare surnames are often true indication of family. There was an study on this some time ago (2010?). I'm sure that your surname, Sanchís, has many origins, even if it's not the most common one, while mine, Aldamiz, probably has one or two origins and that's it. I think this is something that the Winney paper fails to address properly – and yet some people take at face value their claims. I'll re-read it anyhow, but that is my impression. …A large sample is nice but it's not so strictly necessary. Small samples are bad but midling samples in the hundred(s) are alright. More important is to cover well the landscape. Also in their actual research they only used (random) subsets of those samples, I understand. While the overall sample is of 3865 people, the actually researched one is of 1057 only (enough but not as big as you thought).

     
  14. Heraus

    August 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Very interesting analysis and a great summary by Maju as far as I am concerned. Some points I'd like to adress :- Very nice to see anthropometric intuitions can somehow be confirmed by genetics, in the peculiar case of Murcia. I'm not able to know if Murcians' ancestry mostly is of ancient autochtonous stock or derive vastly from medieval newcomers – I know substitution of population is possible : there are many cases in France of whole areas being repopulated in the Middle-Ages and such movements are well recorded by medieval charts – but still that's fascinating. I'll try to investigate Murcia once more.- I do agree with you that Tuscans can somehow look "British", that's something I've noticed many times in my diverse Tuscan samples without daring state it as it is somehow a bit strange nd far-fetched.- I'm coming back from a 5-day trip in Northern Spain (Cantabria, Asturias, Castile, Navarre, …) and I must say I'm a bit clueless about why Navarre succeeded in keeping being that original when it is a widely open area (unless they sampled Navarrese people from very remote valleys) whereas areas protected by whole mountains such as Cantabria or Asturias were more easily subject to "foreign" influence, more particularly Asturias as far as I remember, Cantabria not being that much influenced by Neolithic genetic imput.

     
  15. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Let me get straight about repopulations and what they mean because I much doubt that if repopulations were much less important than stated in Iberia, they'd be so important in France, where there was no 'reconquista' of any sort. When a monarch or feudal lord or monastery stated that they had "founded" a town or city, in 99.99% of cases the city existed before but this particular lord signed a charter and maybe sponsored some improvements. When they say that they repopulated this or that spot, they surely mean that the sent some people from a nearby district or village but not at all ALL the people nor much less from a remote area. They tended to simplify and exaggerate a lot, similarly military historians tend to think that the Roman armies and those of their foes were just a fraction of what is claimed in "history" (propaganda) books. Also where nothing happened, nothing was registered, so we only see the exceptional, much as happens in the news (journalists in India, for instance, do not report on slums and daily poverty, giving a bad impression of what is really happening and making India look much more prosperous than it actually is). I think this applies to Iberia, to France and even to a large extent of East Germany, where the colonizing effort is much better documented (and yet all towns were "founded" on previously existing Slavic ones). Drang nach Östen? Sure but only half of the half of the half of what is apparent in a shallow reading. …Also I said that some North Italians (not Tuscans) tend to appear somewhat like British. I just assumed that Tuscans are genetically related with North Italians and act here as proxy but I did not mean specifically Tuscans but more like people from the Veneto or Lobardy (but there is no specific border, just a focus).

     
  16. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    As for the Navarrese sample its is (fig. 1) from two nearby villages SW of Pamplona. It can sin of too local and I would not pay too much attention to the exaggeration it shows. Probably a wider sample in Navarre should have put it closer to Gipuzkoa or Araba, depending what localities were sampled. The other three provinces are properly sampled however, always in rural areas (what may emphasize the heterozygosity = inbreeding, said to be in the low tier of Europe) and ignoring the Ebro Valley, which may be more mixed since old.

     
  17. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    August 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    "When a monarch or feudal lord or monastery stated that they had "founded" a town or city, in 99.99% of cases the city existed before but this particular lord signed a charter and maybe sponsored some improvements. When they say that they repopulated this or that spot, they surely mean that the sent some people from a nearby district or village but not at all ALL the people nor much less from a remote area. They tended to simplify and exaggerate a lot, similarly military historians tend to think that the Roman armies and those of their foes were just a fraction of what is claimed in "history" (propaganda) books."This could be the case in your neck of the woods. Of course, where I live, it is possible to say with near certainty that well over 99% of the ancestors of the current population (by genetic admixture proportion) were no where even remotely close to this area as of 1820 C.E. (i.e. less than two centuries ago), and subsequent migrations have swamped the earliest significant populations. The official declarations, of course, post-dated the presence of some kind of population, but here in the New World, the lag was often a matter of years or decades rather than centuries or millenia. There were prior inhabitants of this place, of course, and we have records of what they said to the newcomers (e.g. don't live on the riverbanks, because they flood every once in a while). But, we also know a lot about the combination of death, voluntarily migration and involuntarily migration that put the people who used to live where I do where they are now.This isn't to say that this is what actually happened in the Middle Ages in Northern Iberia, but it does influence one's prejudices about what seems to be within the realm of plausibility. The notion that an entirely new town could be created by a monarch in response to a very recent movement of some people to start a settlement out of whole cloth in a time of rebounding population after a population collapse that may jusfifably left people a bit spooked about the place they used to live that was full of memories of dead loved ones doesn't seem terribly implausible to me.

     
  18. Maju

    August 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Where you live is not Europe, the demographic change is not related to neither Neolithic nor Middle Ages but most natives were essentially hunter-gatherers with very low population densities and all settlers were late industrial migrants. Also where you live is not Mexico nor Peru nor Guatemala nor Ecuador nor Bolivia… where a good deal of modern ancestry, often well above 50% is native. Why? Because they had dense agricultural societies that could withstand much better any immigration and also because most of the immigrants arrived before the industrial era (however in the early modern, proto-industrial, era). I can understand that from such "Steamship & Railroad vs. loincloth & club" type of reality you can imagine massive demographic replacements happening almost overnight. But that is not the reality of Europe or nearly anywhere in the Old World (Siberia is the main exception). Look at Palestine to see how, even with a planned systematic genocide and colonization supported by the most powerful Empire ever, is extremely hard to perform in front of agricultural natives, even in a post-nuclear reality. Can it happen? Sure. Look at the mass resettlements made after WWII or the Armenian genocide. But even in our late industrial and ethno-fanatic reality it is a most difficult matter. In the past ethnicity or even religion did not matter so much, people just converted or learned the new language almost overnight, and also the means to perform genocides were not really at hand, nor was the intent almost ever.

     
  19. Jesús Sanchis

    August 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I know the study of surnames has its limitations, but I've seen it applied in several cases, for example by Bryan Sykes, and it seems to be an interesting additional tool for population genetics. Of course it's difficult to know the origin of some surnames. My first surname (Sanchis) might be a local form deriving from an Aragonese or castilian name, and my second surname (Calabuig) has a very Catalan look (and pronunciation).Now, going back to the repopulation issue, I'd say it's necessary to evaluate the population history of every area in detail before reaching conclusions. Let's see the Valencian example again. In the book called "El Llibre del Repartiment de València" (http://www.jaumeprimer.uji.es/cgi-bin/repartiment.php), written at the time of James I of Aragon, there are a total of 3,200 registers. They comprise only the period between 1237 and 1257, after the conquest of the kingdom of Valencia. In each register we have the name of one or a group of Christians who were given the right to occupy a given piece of land, previously owned by a Muslim. The names of those Muslims are also recorded. It's difficult to calculate the exact number of newcomers, including their families, etc., but in any case they became the new governing rule. The Muslim population lost most of their possessions and became second-class citizens, in a process that culminated in the expulsion of the Muslims ('moriscos') in 1609. It is estimated that approximately one third of the Valencian population was deported then.One has the impression that these historical events are quite relevant in the history of Valencia, and should be taken into account before drawing conclusions about prehistoric populations.

     
  20. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Calabuig looks like a very much true family surname and at least does corresponds with a locality in Girona province (Catalonia indeed). And it's surely the same place that inspired the title and imaginary location of 'Calabuch' a Berlanga film from the 1950s…."I'd say it's necessary to evaluate the population history of every area in detail before reaching conclusions".I am very much in agreement. And then contrast with the real genetics to see if what you gather from registry books makes any sense. For example Valencian genetics are NOT consistent with a colonization (total or even partial) from Catalonia and/or Aragon. They are consistent instead with a strong Cardium-Pottery or otherwise Transmediterranean colonization (on native substrate). "In each register we have the name of one or a group of Christians who were given the right to occupy a given piece of land, previously owned by a Muslim".Sure. Are those settlers peasants or nobles. What apportion of the original population do those Muslisms (and replacing Christians) represent. Why the realms of the Crown of Aragon (and also so many local authorities in Castile) so strongly opposed in practical terms the decrees of expulsion of Muslims sine 1492 because these made up almost all the workforce?"One has the impression that these historical events are quite relevant in the history of Valencia, and should be taken into account before drawing conclusions about prehistoric populations". I have the impression that you (and others, incl. Heraus in the French case) are being misled by these historical registers and decrees, which are no statistics and with all likelihood represent only the proverbial point of the iceberg. Overall most "Muslims" were never expelled nor replaced (even, in spite of being mostly urban, most Jews also remained), though they were pressed hard to convert. Similarly, "when the Muslims came" (i.e. the Muslim armies with very few associated colonists), most people stayed put, many as Christians (Mozárabes) but many also converted to Islam (as it offered many advantages, Moriscos). There were some punctual migrations (refugees, settlers) associated to these wars but overall did not make such a huge impact. Most people just adapted to whatever they were thrown upon. That's how people survive discreetly but efficiently. I'll see if I can find some online references because I know all this for a historical fact (at least for Iberia and Germany/Austria/Poland) because I have read on it. But I lack the references right now.

     
  21. eurologist

    August 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

    "The late Paleolithic or Epipaleolithic origins of this pole are to be surely found, at least partly in the Hamburgian-Ahrensburgian-Maglemosean cultural sequence"I think this idea has been overlooked, for too long.

     
  22. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Until recently most did not understand that the Haburgian-Ahrensburgian-Maglemosean was a distinct techno-culture of the Nordic lowlands, incl. surely Doggerland. But IMO it gives a good explanation for some genetic (and even phenotype) features that are exclusive or almost of that area, notably R1b1a2a1a1a-U106 or extreme blondism (an adaption to high and cloudy latitudes). Both these features tend to concentrate towards Friesland today.

     
  23. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    'Calabuig' is a very common surname in valencia, and I don't think a small hamlet in Girona can be its sole origin. It does not count as one of the toponyms that have provided other common Valencian surnames, like Terol, Ripoll, Tortosa, Soria, Daroca, Monzón, Banyuls, Girona or Casp, just to mention a few. Let's try to imagine those events of the 13th c. A medieval kingdom has organized a crusade against the moors, in which a great number of people from Aragon, Castile, Catalonia, Navarre, France and even Hungary have decided to participate. As a result of the war of conquest you have at your disposal a vast territory of the most fertile land imaginable, and the price you have to pay for this land is quite affordable: exactly zero. Besides, you have a steady supply of cheap workforce at your service, and at your back there's a perfectly organized state (the Corona d'Aragó) that guarantees your safety. This is what I call a real 'El Dorado', and it's not difficult to imagine that in the 13th and 14th c. there must have been a continous flow of people from other areas of the Corona d'Aragó ready to take a chance.Of course a condiderable percentage of the Muslim or 'Mozárabe' population remained, but living in poor onditions. As for the 'Mozárabes', their position was already extremely weak after the Almoravid and Almohade persecutions of the previous centuries.And then we have the expulsion of the moors (1609), which did happen for sure and which did involve hundreds of thousands of people who were sent to Algeria or Morocco, not to mention the thousands that were slaughtered in a series of upheavals that took place at the time.

     
  24. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    And thank you for the link about the Maglemoseans. In a recent post in my blog (http://languagecontinuity.blogspot.com/2011/08/making-sense-of-archaeology.html) I talked about the Maglemose culture (and Doggerland), and I also suggested that much more attention should be paid to it.

     
  25. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    One issue with place surnames is that they can be given to anyone born or somehow related to that place. It is often the case of orphans. My grandma had all her life the apprehension (sometimes bordering anguish, because her father died when she was young), that her surname (Castrillo) was of orphan origin in fact. Hard to say because not much is known from her father's lineage. I won't try to judge the genealogy of Valencian surnames but I'd say that, in general, when there is a correspondence with a locality, specially with a plausible locality (after all there are allegations of Catalan colonization of the Valencian country), the origin may be there. However it may be not that an ancestor lived at Calabuig but maybe was a servant to the Lord of Calabuig and got his surname from that (happened a lot). "And then we have the expulsion of the moors (1609), which did happen for sure and which did involve hundreds of thousands of people who were sent to Algeria or Morocco"…Precisely: local authorities resisted because it harmed their economy. Anyhow, if there was such ethnic cleansing in Valencia, why is it so anomalous in relation the genetic of nearby realms? Notably (old nomenclature):· Quite lower R1bf than both Catalonia and Aragon (and Majorca). · Quite higher E3b1 than both Catalonia and Aragon · Quite lower J2 than both Catalonia and AragonIf we compare with Catalonia alone, allegedly the main population source:· Quite higher E3b2· Quite higher I· Quite lower G· Quite lower R1b (in general)I think this is best explained if we appeal to (mostly) founder effects in the Neolithic, when Valencia, specially the southern half, was heavily colonized by Cardium Pottery People from further East in the Mediterranean.But maybe I am wrong. Whatever the case, if there would have been such a massive ethnic cleansing as you claim, the genetic composition should be more like Catalonia (or Catalonia+Aragon) than it is. It's not possible to explain the low apportions of R1b3f and G specially, which make up more than 25% of Catalan Y-DNA pool but barely 5% of the Valencian one. This says that Catalan direct contribution (males) was at most 20% of all the Valencian genetic pool. In comparison a Catalan colonization of Majorca (but not Minorca) is somewhat plausible instead (but may have happened in the Neolithic at least partly so).

     
  26. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I haven't mentioned the concept of 'ethnic cleansing', and I haven't even remotely suggested it. Again, the only thing I'm saying is that medieval input in Valencia is important enough as to be taken into consideration. On the other hand, I'm generally sceptical about any analysis of DNA material. I've read a lot of articles about population genetics and I have the impression that in this young science what is true today is false tomorrow: there is no clear indication that any given analysis might be particularly valid, especially when far-reaching conclusions are drawn from the material. That's why, for example, I have very much stressed the need for systematic and comprehensive data collecting. Otherwise, I can only be quite sceptical.Returning to the Valencian theme, I find it funny when you write the following: "the Neolithic, when Valencia, specially the southern half, was heavily colonized by Cardium Pottery People". You doubt a well documented migration event in medieval Iberia, and then you take for granted that sometime in prehistory there was heavy colonization… Well, I think a better approach would be to try to avoid spectacular conclusions about prehistory without having carried out some more detailed research about more recent events.

     
  27. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    You have more than just remotely suggested ethnic cleansing when you consider the expulsion of the Moriscos a fait accompli. Even if it failed it'd be a case of ethnic cleansing/genocide, at least as attempt, mind you.As for genetic facts, they are pretty real. Another thing is interpretation but, while retouches may and do happen in the structure of the phylogeny, the data is fundamentally valid and solid and has not changed that much in some aspects from the time they were only working with blood groups (i.e. the 1950s or so). I wonder, if you are not interested in genetics and do not believe in the methods (and you also do not believe in archaeology nor mainstream linguistics for what I can gather), what do you believe in: whatever a voice in your head dictates capriciously?I tell you what I do not believe in: pseudoscience."… systematic and comprehensive data collecting".I understand that in the case of Iberia that is a fait accopli at least to some extent. Not so much in France where ideological chauvinist forces are hindering research, trying to hide the diversity of the hexagon and its deep structure, but in the Iberian Peninsula there have been no such legal barriers. "You doubt a well documented migration event in medieval Iberia, and then you take for granted that sometime in prehistory there was heavy colonization…"I do not take anything for granted but for all I know about Cardium Pottery culture, most sites in most regions imply not colonization. How do we know? Because the peoples adopting the CP cultural elements such as farming, sheep or pottery, retained local toolkits rooted in the Epipaleolithic (Azilian/Microlaminar, Tardenoisian/Geometric or, in Italy, Epigravettian). However there are some cases where that did not happen and full-fledged colonization seems to have taken place. In most regions that is just one or two localized sites (Cova de Montserrat in Catalonia for example) but in the Southern Valencian Country that is most of the CP culture's sites. Anyhow, I am open to factual detailed counter-arguments of Archaeological nature but a knee-jerk doubt not. Bring evidence. More recent "events", as you describe them, do not explain anything in the genetic realm, as I have shown you already. That's probably because they are not so real (at least much less dramatic than you think). We are here discussing genetics in any case, and we are all trying to do it on factual grounds. Focus or let it be.

     
  28. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Well yes, in my previous comment I was thinking about the 'Reconquista', which is the main point in the discussion. Then there's the second element I introduced, the expulsion of the moors, which is of course an example of ethnic cleansing. It's so obvious that tehre's no need for even stating it. And it's not a myth, it's simple historical fact. Two years ago there was the commemoration of the 4th centenary of the event, and many books and articles were published about it. The expulsion has been analysed from every possible angle, including hundreds of thousands of historical documents of all kinds, and the whole thing was the theme of a multitude of exhibitions and documentaries that brought the subject to the public. You're from the Basque country and maybe you didn't have access to all these events, but that's your problem. Before 1609 the Muslims were a reality in many areas of Spai, especially in the kingdom of Valencia. They appeared in all types of legal documents and regulations, and they were a part of society, a subdued one but at least existent. After 1609, this all disappeared. Apart from some remote areas where some Muslims might have been able to manage to stay, the truth is that they simply vanished. Some stories are told about some small children being left behind by the adults who were forced to leave, and it's obvious that there must be some genetic print connected with those populations, but the truth, again, is that they were deported somewhere else. There are places, e.g. in the Marina counties (province of Valencia) where you can visit literally hundreds of settlements that were abandoned at taht time, and continue to be abandoned now. You can visit them whenever you want and there are even guided tours to go and see them. The great injustice of the expulsion of the moors is historical fact, and it have all kinds of consequences for Valencia, including a deep economic crisis. But let's remember that the decision to deport the Muslims was not taken in Valencia, but in Madrid.It is grotesque to talk about the genetics of the Valencians without taking into consideration the most relevant events that have taken place in the last milleniume which have an impact on the population. The last one, and probably the strongest one, has to do with recent migration from Andalusia, Extremadura, and other Spanish areas, but that's an event that can be avoided with the right data collection methodology, as has already been mentioned in this discussion.I am sceptical about anything that is said about prehistory (how could I not be?), but especially about oversimpified explanations, like your summary of Franco-Spanish genetic history. Why don't you try to be more modest, Maju? Why don't you just accept that your wonderful conclusions might be simply wrong in some aspects? You say you are open to archaeological counter arguments, but what about the historical arguments that you have voluntarily chosen to overlook? That's the weak point in your reasoning. But anyway, I would never take your ideas at any scientific value, for obvious reasons.

     
  29. carpetanuiq

    August 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    This issue (reconquista y repoblación) interested me a lot some time ago and I have a lot of litterature about it (I can not check it now, so I´m writing this from memory).What is known is: –there were 4 territories of population origin but also destination: León (including Asturias and Galicia), Castille (including Cantabria and Basque country), Navarre, Aragón and Catalonia. Aragón and Catalonia merged definitivelly since 1164. León and Castille merged definitivelly since 1230. Navarrese expansion was aborted by the more succesfull expansions of Castilla-León and Aragón (geography matters). Also there are quite a few Francos (all peoples north of the Pirenées) attested in medieval sources, manly in cities along the Camino de Santiago. And during both middle ages and modern times there has been a huge population in Cataluña and Valencia of french origin (I do not know where from France).–In Castilla Léon (maybe also in Aragón-Cataluña) the movement of population was in two directions: both north to south and south to north (for instance there is attested movement of mozárabes from the south to the north and there was quite a few people from the south that migrated to north cities along trade routes in modern times, including basque towns; for this reason full genealogies would be better than 4 ancestors; and regarding genealogy if you are not of noble origin, it is almost impossible to find certain links beyond XVI century). –In Castilla León there are five main areas each one with a different administrative way of peopleing: the “Merindades” area (León and parts of Zamora, Palencia, Burgos provinces), the Comunidades de Villa y Tierra area (Salamanca, Avila, Segovia, Soria, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Madrid and parta of Toledo), the Military Orders area (in Castille la Mancha and Extremadura and part of Andalucia provinces) and Andalucia Bética, which was a mixture of Comunidades de Villa y Tierra (Ubeda y Baeza, Ecija, Carmona, Sevilla…) and nobility latifundios. A good summary with a map in this blog: Castilla http://arquehistoria.com/historiasla-repoblaci-n-cristiana-en-la-reconquista-el-repartimiento-520. Not so long ago there was a hot historiographical debate regarding the Duero valley area (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desierto_del_Duero). The fifth area is the kingdom of Granada. Each area has a different pattern of peopleing, not irrelevant for genetic studies. (to be continued in next comment)

     
  30. carpetanuiq

    August 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Regarding Islamic invasion and later expulsions a short dictionary: mozárabe (pre islamic conquest hispano-gothic population that remained as christians in islamic territories; some migrated to north and mixed with castillians); mudéjars (islamic people, which could had originated either as hispano-gothic people that converted to islam, either arabs, berebers or sirians that invade Iberia), moriscos (mudéjars that converted, mainly forced, to christianism; these could be of hispano-gothic origin, of arabic bereber sirian origin or even of jewish origin: there are attested cases probably not very frequent,of jewish that converted into islam in order to avoid expulsion in 1492). Beyond any doubt and taking into account the most extreme in any sense estimations, houndreds of thousands peoples were expulsed, adding those expulsed in 1492 and 1609. Many probably of hispano-gothic ancestry admixed with arabo-sirian-bereber. About Murcia a good summary is in this article from Anselmo Carretero (with a warning, since he was not a professional historian):http://www.jarique.com/pdf/carretero_01.pdf. I might expand this comment as soon as I have access to my sources The peoples that occupated these new areas during medieval and modern times came from all classes: high nobility, hidalgos, and peasants. The hard task is to make a quantitative analysis of all these movements (both north to south and south to north). I agree with Sanchis that every case must be studied very carefully and must include all avalaible information (including surnames; btw a very good web page for the quantitative study of spanish surnames: http://www.ine.es/apellidos/formGeneralresult.do?L=0&vista=3&orig=ine&cmb3=99&cmb6=aldamiz&x=8&y=6 ; see also http://www.ine.es/apellidos/formGeneralresult.do?L=0&vista=3&orig=ine&cmb3=99&cmb6=calabuig&x=9&y=6) before sampling for genetic studies. IMO to assert that the population of any spanish province is genetically related with the population of the same province in neolithic or even antiquity without proofs is very close to crackpot science. Not to speak of paleolithic. p.s. sorry for long comment and sorry if I do not answer. I have difficult access to internet where I am now..

     
  31. Heraus

    August 13, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    The issue here is that we're speaking without having the only piece of information we'd need i.e. estimations of the number of inhabitants before and after the Reconquista. Generally speaking, I'm quite skeptical about theories developping models of substitution as I'm rather convinced that medieval migrations never can fully alter the autochtonous basis as density was alredy too high in these times, yet I know there are some documentated ones, noticeably in the Middle-Ages in France.Amongst such famous replacements is the repeopling of parts of modern-day Moselle and Alsace with Oïl-speaking migrants (thus creating "Pays Welsche"). Another one is the "Gavacherie" phenomenon in the vicinity of Bordeaux : medieval charts are quite clear, at some point in History, lands were abandoned by local Gascon people (quite probably because of the Black Death) and local religious authorities did "advertize" those free lands in Poitou from where most migrants eventually originated. The impact of these newcomers might have been exaggerated as the only texts remaining are mostly about those who settled, not really those who had been there from time immemorial as registers have been lost or never existed in the first place. Yet it is obvious that this population constitued an Oïlic-speaking exclave into Gascon lands for centuries (the language died out in the 50s), that these people all had Oïlic names which could easily be traced back even though major placenames had remained what they were before "colonization" (there's no other word for this phenomenon). See "Petite Gavacherie" for more data.Some historians do also speculate that the whole of Western France was colonized from the Loire valley in the early Middle-Ages after studying surnames in Saintonge and Aunis. It's true one has to find an explaination to why these areas eventually abandoned their vernacular Oc dialect in favour of Oïl. Linguistic substitution can be easily explained without repeopling though. Maybe those historians are making a confusion between proper colonization and ancient internal migrations. For instance it is a well attested fact that the ancestors of modern-day Vendeans used to migrate southwards. Alpine people are also know for seasonal migrations into Provence. In that respect, Catalan migrations into Valencia might just be an old phenomenon, not something massive, just what one can expect from two neighbouring areas sharing cultural and geographical aspects.BTW Maju's point is uneasily debatable : had substitution been massive, Murcia and Valencia would not be that distinct. Yet they are, just like they were in Neolithic times. Which hints to the fact that repeopling was an epiphenomenon, mostly urban (like in Navarre for instance : if you read some historians, you might end believing Navarre was only populated by "francos" !).

     
  32. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Very useful and interesting information, Heraus. Now, there's an essential difference between medieval France and Iberia: the religious element: The Spanish 'Reconquista' has an important religious element that crystalized with the Jewish persecution and diaspora and, later, with the expulsion of the 'Moriscos'. The Spanish 'Reconquista' was seen from the beginning as some kind of crusade. For example, one of the common themes in the lives and works of Provençal troubadours was the Spanish crusade, as they called it. In fact, the involvement of French people in the Corona d'Aragó events was certainly significant. I'm afraid nothing really compares to these events in medieval Europe, and probably there is nothing comparable to Spanish Jewish persecution and Muslim expulsion until the times of Nazi Germany.I agree with you that prehistoric elements must have survived and could be relevant and identifiable, but there's a need for an implementation of later events, especially if they're as far-reaching as the ones described here. Current genetic material of eastern Spaniards may be 'Neolithic', or 'Palaeolithic' but, in what way?

     
  33. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    @Heraus: What I see with your examples is that the two are very very localized phenomenons (neither district is large), that there is (nor can probably be) clear data about the real impact of the colonization and that the immigrants arrived from not far away (Poitou is not really far from Bordeaux, for instance). How from these so localized and limited phenomena give you the impression of massive colonization and replacement, I fail to understand. This kind of phenomenon is what actually tells me: that was about all the changes that happened in many centuries: almost nothing. They are what underline that we should expect approximate demographic continuity in all or most regions, always with some flexibility, of course. "like in Navarre for instance : if you read some historians, you might end believing Navarre was only populated by "francos"!"Exactly! Of course there were some "Frankish settlers", restricted to urban areas… but most were Gascons or Languedocines, not true French (much less Germanic Franks). The likelihood of those settlers coming from nearby Béarn was like 99% greater than for them coming from truly Paris. Nobody denies occasional migrations at small scale between nearby areas and also regular flow of people at mostly short distances. It's people, not trees!

     
  34. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    @Jesús:"… it's simple historical fact".Historical facts are never simple as you should know if you have ever discussed about recent history with someone with different political ideas. History is what people say of things that happened, not what actually happened necessarily. Can you tell me what percentage (in relation to natives) of colonists arrived to Valencia upon the conquest by the Crown of Aragon? No, you cannot. You can only mention that some aristocrats were given the lands of some defeated ones.Can you tell me what percentage of Muslims converted after the 1492 decree of forced conversion? No, you cannot. Can you tell me what percentage of Muslims were in Valencia in 1601? No, you cannot. And, of them, how many converted in the last minute before being expelled? No, you cannot. And if they were replaced by colonists from elsewhere and what proportion they mad of the Valencian population? No, you cannot. That would be FACTS, simple statistical facts. But we don't have any and my impression in general is that this is because the "facts" are largely trivial. "Before 1609 the Muslims were a reality in many areas of Spai, especially in the kingdom of Valencia". I don't think so. Because they had obligation of conversion. They only existed as "crypto-Muslims" because their religion was illegal and persecuted by the Holy Inquisition. According to Wikipedia, these crypto-Muslims made up a 20% of the population in Valencia and Aragon. Even if they managed to expel all 20% of native Muslims, there would still be 80% of already converted who remained. Yes or yes? Yes. It would have damaged the demography but not altered the genetics, because all or most Muslims or Christians were descendants of natives of the area in Roman times and before. Do you think that there are substantial genetic differences between Catholic and Muslim Bosnians? Catholic and Muslim Albanians? Not that I know. And if they exist must be random because no immigration is attested in relation to these conversions."It is grotesque to talk about the genetics of the Valencians without taking into consideration the most relevant events that have taken place in the last milleniume which have an impact on the population". Considered already: no effect because Christian and Muslim Valencians are likely to have been genetically identical. It is more likely it had an effect in Morocco or Algeria, with so many theoretical refugees arriving (in theory), but AFAIK that effect is also invisible. "Why don't you just accept that your wonderful conclusions might be simply wrong in some aspects?"They might. But prove it first before you ask that I "admit" anything. In general I don't think they should be wrong and I think that just casting generic doubt is pointless. You must either prove the theory wrong or propose a theory that fits even better with the known facts. That is scientific method. You are proving nothing wrong nor you are proposing any alternative theory. Just casting generic doubt without any meaningful support, what only makes me waste my time answering. I can only hope this pointless non-discussion does not goes on like forever as sometimes happens with people who have very strong opinions.

     
  35. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    @Carpetanuiq:I see in your Wikipedia link that the "Desierto del Duero", that I remember from my youth (I was kinda obsessed with history and specially historical maths) as "Tierra de Nadie" (no man's land), was always populated and that archaeology supports this notion. No wonder because there is a lot of myth with the Reconquista. In fact the Northern kingdoms were de facto vassals (paid tributes) to Cordoba until, in 1031, the Caliphate collapsed and the situation was reversed, culminating in the conquest of Toledo (an unopposed military march on a friendly Muslim vassal, who was compensated with the crown of Valencia instead). It was then, and only then, when Almoravids intervened, and the real Reconquista began, lasting some 170 years (excepted Granada, of course). In mere 170 years there was no time, nor people (population growth was limited before the industrial era), to repopulate much. That does not mean that there were no punctual localized resettlements but overall it should not have altered the demography that much. "Many probably of hispano-gothic ancestry admixed with arabo-sirian-bereber".More like most if not all of Hispanic ("Roman") origin with no or almost no admixture. Let's take a moment to consider the genetics of Abd el-Rhaman III. He was the heir of the Ummayad but he was at least 75% Basque (his mother and his father's mother were Basques). So even those Muslims claiming to be "Arab" (some aristocrats and that's it) were maybe 90% or more Iberian in fact. If Muslim immigration in the Cordoba period was of any importance, we should see a lot of not just North African E1b-M81 but also related apportions of North African (and West Asian) J1. There's almost no J1 in all the peninsula (though the little that there is, it is concentrated indeed in the former Kingdom of Granada) and, while there is more E1b-M81, it is concentrated in Galicia, as well as other parts of the Western third of Iberia, bearing no correlation whatsoever with Muslim conquest, Christian reconquest or anything of the like. Similarly, with all the alleged refugee flow southwards to North Africa, there is a surprising lack of Iberian Y-DNA in the region, including J2, G, I and R1b. So all those stories clash with reality: they describe a highly inflated virtual reality with little connection with the real one. "The hard task is to make a quantitative analysis of all these movements (both north to south and south to north)". Indeed.However, excepting aristocrats, I'm reasonably sure that it tends to zero. And regarding the surname-mapper, I really do not need it to know where my direct relatives live. XD But it's nice anyhow.

     
  36. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    According to many reliable sources, the 'Moriscos' who were expelled from Valencia in 1609 accounted for more or less one third of the total population. Regardless of their genetic characteristics, probably a combination of Iberian and North African genes, the fact is that their absence meant that the genes of the 'colonizers' became more significant in percentage, which is, in my opinion, relevant. How should all this be incorporated into a genetic study? I really don't know.I agree with you, I don't want this discussion to be endless either, and I really appreciate the chance to learn new things from people like you through debate. We all need to be more open-minded. For example, you think surnames are useless in population studies. I prefer to think that there might be a potential for them. Why not? There are things that we'll never know, for example the exact numbers of past populations, etc., but there are experts who know better than us about these things and we should at least listen to them.

     
  37. Maju

    August 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Don't get me wrong: I don't say that surnames are useless. I have used the paucity of Basque surnames, which are mostly in the truly family-indicators kind, to argue that in the last, say, 500 years or more there have been no sudden demographic expansions of the offspring of any exceptionally successful man, as is typically claimed by those who favor recent chronologies for everything, regardless of Prehistory (like Dienekes). In the Basque Country at least, excepting industrial era immigration, there does not seem to have been major demographic movements, much less any such hyper-expansion of say the López de Haro clan or some other jauntxo like the Ganboa, etc. Overall most men of the past (and probably women as well) have contributed in roughly similar amounts to the ancestry of present day Basques. And this can be proven because of surnames – but only because of surnames that are very genuinely family indicators and not those like Etxebarri (New Home) that have arisen several times. It is very difficult to work with them in any case, notably because patronymics (Gómez, Johnson), toponyms (Toledo, Flanders), professional surnames (Zapatero, Smith) and others like nicknames (Calvo, Black) have arisen many many times each. And most surnames are of those kinds.For example, my grandmother's surnames (two are used by the Spanish system: father's first and mother's first) were Salcedo Salcedo, but deeply rooted in Biscay, specifically in Santurtzi. With all the cultural load of Aranism there was always some debate in my family on their origins (because the surname is clearly romance meaning 'place of willows') and I can see using the statistical application provided above that it is somewhat common through the geography of the state (with specially strong presence in Navarre and Huesca but also Ciudad Real and Jaén). But where did it originate? That looks like an impossible task. How do you determine if Salcedo is native or not to Santurtzi or anywhere else? It's almost impossible. And yet the surname is somewhat rare everywhere, being no García or anything of the like.

     
  38. ᧞eandertalerin

    August 13, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    To this discussion, I'd like to add this file:http://www.raco.cat/index.php/Estudis/article/viewFile/237660/319920It's a comment on a book about the repopulation of Valencia. The book, written by Enric Guinot (Valencian professor, medieval historicist) states that Valencia was repopulated mainly by western Catalans who established more along the coast (80%) and the rest were Aragonese and Castilian settlers (10-20%). Muslims were a minority according to Guinot.His work is based on surnames, not genetics, althought in this case surnames may be more useful. I have seen no serious DNA study that aims to clarify the population history in Valencia during the Middle Ages, so I'm open to new possibilites.

     
  39. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  40. Jesús Sanchis

    August 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Guinot's book is the reference work in the field. And the field, especially in the 70's and 80's, was a minefield, plagued with political and linguitic controversy. People at the university, including Guinot, allign with the idea that the Conquest of Valencia was the starting point in Valencian history. The newcomers constituted a new political unit and brought the language or languages that would finally produce Valencian, basically a dialect of Catalan. As I said, this is the viewpoint held by most scholars and also by the more left-wing population. In his book, Guinot reinforces these ideas with a really comprehensive account of the events, with the aim of settling the whole issue once and for all. One of the things he says is that the only language spoken in Valencia prior to the conquest was Arabic. According to him, there isn't a single piece of evidence showing that any sort of Romance language was spoken there at the time.On the other side of the controversy, which still lingers on in Valencian society but not with the same level of fierceness as a couple of decades ago, we have those people who think that Valencian is an independent language that was already spoken in our territory before the arrival of the Aragonese/Catalan. In this line of thought, they tend to minimise the possible numbers of the newcomers, especially the Catalans, maximising the role of the 'Mozárabe' population. A lot of people in the conservative parties, e.g. PP, share this type of ideology.So what we have here is a mixture of genealogy, history and language with the result of two antagonistic ideological positions. One of the symbols of this fight is the actual Valencian flag. The pro-Catalan ones prefer the flag with just red and yellow stripes, while the other ones (colloquially called 'blaveros') prefer the one with an additional blue stripe on one of the sides, a flag which has eventually become official. Even Valencia FC was used as an element of this war, as we can see in the famous (and horrible looking) top that they used to wear in some away games, e.g. in this cup final against Real Madrid in 1979, which incidentally we won… (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4d8jgasZ2o).It's funny because the concept of continuity, which I also adhere to, and which I think is a good principle to keep in any sort of research about language history or prehistory, is, in this case, favoured by people whose ideas lie outside the world of the scientific world. I must admit the whole thing is a bit of a paradox to me, and the more I think about it, the less clearly I see it.

     
  41. Maju

    August 14, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I can only insist in the fact that the Catalan and Valencian genetics are quite distinct (not totally different but too different to substantiate the Guinot hypothesis or anything even remotely similar). I have already mentioned the Y-DNA differences but there is also some autosomal research that makes Valencians (from Alicante) cluster mostly with other Iberians (Castilians, Asturians) than Catalans (nor Andalusians either). It's difficult to spot the Valencians however because they were coded in yellow color (on white background). In any case they do not show any strong tendency towards Catalans, not at all. Instead they tend towards Castile, they overlap almost completely with Castile. The best explanation for this is again the Paleolithic or Neolithic periods. Let's not forget that the Valencia, Murcia and coastal parts of East Andalusia were the core of Paleolithic Iberia (plus some around Girona and Lisbon mostly) – excluding the Cantabrian strip, that rather belonged to the "South French" area (Franco-Cantabrian region). I think that the population continuity model fits best for the Valencian Country on light of the known genetic data. However the language is Eastern Catalan essentially (only ideology can serve to deny this). Population and language can have different origins and often do. In this case it is possible that trickle of colonists from East Catalonia, typically in positions of power, imposed their language on the pre-existent population.

     
  42. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    August 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    "Where you live is not Europe, the demographic change is not related to neither Neolithic nor Middle Ages but most natives were essentially hunter-gatherers with very low population densities and all settlers were late industrial migrants. . . . they had dense agricultural societies that could withstand much better any immigration and also because most of the immigrants arrived before the industrial era[.]"All true."you can imagine massive demographic replacements happening almost overnight. But that is not the reality of Europe or nearly anywhere in the Old World"Not on the same scale and not as often, definitely. But, there are exceptions: you note mass resettlement after WWII and Armenia, and surely there have been close calls (e.g. Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda), even more recently. In Palestine, it is not agriculture, so much as allies, that have been critical. Absent the formation of Israel, would anyone even conceptualize Palestinians as being any more distinct than West and East and Oasis Libyans are from each other?"In the past ethnicity or even religion did not matter so much, people just converted or learned the new language almost overnight, and also the means to perform genocides were not really at hand, nor was the intent almost ever."I sincerely doubt this. We had the Crusdades and the Hundred Years Wars. Religion and language matters at least as much "then" as now, and probably moreso – when we see massacres in tit for tat wars of extermination between Muslims and Christians in villages across the Sahel in places like Nigeria.I'm an atheist, but that doesn't mean that I don't give some historical credence to the genocidal accounts of the people of Moses slaughtering other tribes in the Bible. It may be rare, but I don't doubt that there have been as many undocumented genocides as genocides known to history. And, of course, one needs far less than genocide for a new village to spring up where there was not one before founded predominantly by migrants. Folk wanderings are not mere delusions of 19th century German historians.Yes, conversions happen. Faint remnants of Spain remain in Florida, of France in Louisiana, of the Dutch in New York and Indonesia, of the Sicilian Kingdom in a modern Italy modeled on a Napoleonic vision adopted by Tuscans, of Jews and Moors in Spain and perhaps of peoples all the way back of Cardium Pottery. But, a city here, a distinct caste there, mass migrations, new settlements, obliterated villages, even Europe is not immune to these changes.Often people bend and the peasants endure new conquerers by changing their spots. But, continuity isn't an iron clad rule and the more we know the more we find the quirks and exceptions that illustrate that fact.

     
  43. Maju

    August 15, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I was going to write a long answer but not deserved, Andrew: all your examples are questionable of faulty and failed to cause any mass demographic change, specially involving large areas and distant unrelated peoples. You fail to bring a single example of mass demographic change, what even surprises me because I'm sure that there must be the occasional exception that confirms the rule. As for religion, the main rule in the past was: convert the princes, that they will convert the people by the law and the sword.You are totally obliterated by your US-centric view of things, as if there was anywhere any strong presence of Spaniards in Florida at all, for example (nominal control is not the same as settling). Do they still speak Spanish in Puerto Rico after a whole century-plus of US domination? and, more importantly (because language like religion can change easily), do they still look like admixed Native Americans after 500 years of "white" domination? Yes they do!

     
  44. carpetanuiq

    August 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    1. @heraus: Thanks Heraus, very usefull information about population movements in France I was not aware off (and anecdotically about the origin of the word Gabacho, used in Spain when someone wants to refer to frenchs despectivelly).2. @sanchis: "I'm afraid nothing really compares to these events in medieval Europe, and probably there is nothing comparable to Spanish Jewish persecution and Muslim expulsion until the times of Nazi Germany"I disagree. Expulsions and progroms were frequent in all Europe during middle ages. Spain was the last country to expulse religious minorities. Later, during the war religions in modern times both parts catholics and lutherans made frequently religious cleansing. Of course this is another debate I prefer not to go into. (to be continued)

     
  45. carpetanuiq

    August 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    4. @Maju: "I have already mentioned the Y-DNA differences but there is also some autosomal research that makes Valencians (from Alicante) cluster mostly with other Iberians (Castilians, Asturians) than Catalans (nor Andalusians either)"That´s not surprising.Alicante province was reconquested in 1248 by Castilla and settled by castellano-leoneses. In 1296 it passed to Aragón and was settled by catalans, mostly from Lerida However, until the Moriscos expulsion,the majority of population of "pre-reconquista" origin. The "Libros de Repartimientos" of Alicante has been lost. http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentencia_Arbitral_de_TorrellasOrihuela: From wikipedia "Sin embargo, su peso relativo con respecto a otras zonas de la provincia fue paulatinamente decreciendo desde mediados del siglo XVI, en gran parte debido las pestes de 1648 y 1678 (donde Orihuela fue repoblada por castellanos y de ahí que ahora se hable el español y su denominación actual de Orihuela).Villena was a Lordship in Castillan hands (Manuel de Villena) until modern times (1525). From Wikipedia: “De los censos parciales realizados entre la década de 1330 y la de 1380 se extrae que al menos en 88% de los apellidos eran de ascendencia castellana, siendo el resto de origen catalán, hebreo, musulmán y francés”. Elche was in castillan hands until 1348 (Manuel de Villena). In modern times it was a lordship in hands of the castillan Cardenas family, also Duques of Maqueda which probably settled peoples from Toledo there. As you know both in the Torrijos area in Toledo (also a Cardenas´s lordship) and Elche area there is shoes industry. That´s not casual. Regarding the Tierra de Nadie (from Gredos and Guadarrama to Duero) my take is that there were islamic settlements with peoples and this is why the Comunidades de Villa y Tierra way of settlement was stablished. Merindades y alfoces was more suitable for areas with not previous settlements and with enough rain so that dispersed settlements were viable. Again I´m speaking from memory and I have to check my litterature. In any case I repeat again: we must be very carefull when we asserting paleolithic or even neolithic ancestry in any of the spanish provinces.

     
  46. carpetanuiq

    August 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    @All: for me the conclusion is that micro-history (including genealogy) must be taken into account for genetics study. Two examples of apparently good interdisciplinary research:A regional surname-genetics study: http://www.laopiniondezamora.es/zamora/2011/01/16/sayago-comarca-mayor-diversidad-genetica-sanabria-consanguinea/491145.html.A genealogy-genetic study: http://www.apellidocastilla.com/In the category "Extraordinarios resultados" there is a link to genetic results.

     
  47. Jesús Sanchis

    August 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I have mentioned some significant historical events in Iberia that, in my opinion, should be taken into account, and Maju seems to play down their importance. In fact, he basically ignores them. Now, why do I think they're 'significant'? Some commenters, including me, have given a series or arguments here. Let's see one more little example that might help:According to INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), there are 7,664 people in Spain whose first surname is 'Francés' (meaning 'French' in both Spanish and catalan). 3,863 of those people were born in the Valencian Community, which is 50% of the total for Spain. Interesting, isn't it? Especially for a region with no borders with France. But maybe this little figure is just the top of the iceberg. Let's see some more examples of surnames connected with place names outside Valencia. The information is arranged as follows: surname, number of people with that surname who were born in the Valencian Community, and percentage over the total Spanish population with that surname. To avoid double counting, only the instances of appearance as a first surname have been included. Another interesting piece of information is that the population of the Valencian Community, a little over 5 million, amounts to 11% of the Spanish population.- Calatayud: 4,506 (67%).- Zaragoza/Zaragozá: 5,910 (41%).- Soriano: 10,679 (29%).- Navarro: 37,054 (21%).- Perpiñá: 554 (46%).- Alcañiz: 1,161 (39%).- Roselló/Rosselló: 3,793 (42%).- Teruel/Terol: 4,656 (49%).- Esplugues: 342 (66%).Obviously, we could add hundreds more surnames connected with place names, and, moreover, we could easily find old genealogical lines outside Valencia for many other surnames, including a percentage of the more common ones like 'García', 'Ruiz', 'Martín', 'López', 'Pla' or 'Puig'.

     
  48. carpetanuiq

    August 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    @Maju: "But where did it originate? That looks like an impossible task. How do you determine if Salcedo is native or not to Santurtzi or anywhere else? It's almost impossible. And yet the surname is somewhat rare everywhere, being no García or anything of the like."¿¿¿ Where is the impossibility ??? Salcedo surname comes from the Salcedo Valley in Las Encartaciones (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Encartaciones). This valley (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valle_de_Salcedo) included the present Zalla and Gueñes concejos.Salcedo surname might come from the noble Salcedo family (varonía Ayala). The legend says this family comes from Asturias (but pls don´t beleive nor genealogical nor historical legends) or from someone which came from this valley. If your family does not know its origins it is more likely the later. I have a surname not from a place not far from this area (not my first nor my second; maybe 20th or so). The map of this surname shows a very tipical pattern (forgetting contemporary populations sinks such as big cities): frequent in the area where it originates and close areas (Vizcaya and Navarra); and then frequent in La Mancha (first step of repoblación following reconquista) and Andalucia (last step of repoblación). One link you might find of interest if you are interested in genealogy: http://www.euskalnet.net/laviana/gen_bascas/salcedo.htm

     
  49. ᧞eandertalerin

    August 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    "On the other side of the controversy, which still lingers on in Valencian society but not with the same level of fierceness as a couple of decades ago, we have those people who think that Valencian is an independent language that was already spoken in our territory before the arrival of the Aragonese/Catalan. In this line of thought, they tend to minimise the possible numbers of the newcomers, especially the Catalans, maximising the role of the 'Mozárabe' population. A lot of people in the conservative parties, e.g. PP, share this type of ideology."My thoughts are: what happened in the past has nothing to do with current politics nor ideology. Blaveros and pro-catalanists can imagine whatever they want, but the truth is there, and remains to be discovered and clarified. Either if Valencians are mostly descended from Catalans and Aragonese who arrived after reconquista or not, an ideology can't reconstruct history, specially if this ideology doesn't have a clue about what science means."I can only insist in the fact that the Catalan and Valencian genetics are quite distinct (not totally different but too different to substantiate the Guinot hypothesis or anything even remotely similar). I have already mentioned the Y-DNA differences but there is also some autosomal research that makes Valencians (from Alicante) cluster mostly with other Iberians (Castilians, Asturians) than Catalans (nor Andalusians either)."I'm waiting for a work which study the population history of Valencia and its relationship with Catalonia and Aragon carefully. I've seen never that kind of study. Valencians and Catalans appear to be different, but to me, this means little to nothing. Why? Take a sample of 100 persons from one neighbourhood in Barcelona, say, Nou Barris. Take another sample from the same city but another neigbourhood, for example Pedralbes, and another from Lleida. The results are that the three populations are equally related, or that one population from Barcelona is closer to the population from Lleida than the other one from Barcelona. Another more extreme example: sample a family and their neighbours, and compare them with a family and their neighbours from another town. Results: there's no relationship between living in the same town and genetic affinities.Now, if a sample of Valencians taken from Valencia city and another of Barcelonians taken from Barcelona look different, I'd be suprised at all. Do you understand why in this case I trust more surnames than genetics?"I think that the population continuity model fits best for the Valencian Country on light of the known genetic data. However the language is Eastern Catalan essentially (only ideology can serve to deny this). Population and language can have different origins and often do. In this case it is possible that trickle of colonists from East Catalonia, typically in positions of power, imposed their language on the pre-existent population."I think it's safe to assume we still don't know if there was replacement or not. There was some sort of cotinuity for sure, but not necessarily too important: look at the Balearic islands, most people aren't descended from people who lived there 1000 years ago, and who was massacrated by several invasions.Notice that Valencian is closest to the western varietes of Catalan (spoken in Lleida and Tarragona) than to East Catalan.

     
  50. Maju

    August 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Even a 1 per mil would not be notable in any statistics, Jesús. Those statistics which mention surnames in the thousands do not amount in any case to anything meaningful. I have no idea what you mean by that therefore.

     

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