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The Dna Of The Inhabitants Of Greece
Topic Started: Jan 7 2011, 05:41 PM (12,789 Views)
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(by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

Author: Constantinos Triantafyllidis *
Ardin t 69

1. Theories of origin of the Greeks

The origins of mankind has always fascinated philosophers, scientists, and ordinary citizens. Specifically, the Greeks are interested to know the biological roots of our people in Europe. For the origin of the inhabitants of Greece have been three theories5.

• The theory of Indo-European origin of the Greeks, based on linguistic analysis and comparisons with no archaeological or other evidence. Comparative linguists are the main supporters. In Rello5, despite the wide dissemination, this theory is not based on solid sources, and must be rejected.

• The theory of indigenous, supported themselves by the ancient Greeks. The main exponent of this theory is Professor Colin Renfrew6.

• Modern afrokentriki theory, in which ancient Greece was the result of Egyptian and Phoenician colonization in the second millennium BC The main proponent of this theory is Martin Bernal2, author of "The Black Athena, and, recently, researchers from the laboratory of Skopje and the University of Madrid. In dimosiefma1 to argue that "the Greeks of mainland Greece, like the inhabitants of Ethiopia." Moreover, our neighbors move sheets indicating that "Negroafrikanoi Greeks are usurpers of our country." Members of the group had published and work on the origin of Palestinians and Israelis. This work has disappeared from the literature, following protests by Israeli scientists.

Beyond this, the work does not lacks scientific value because:

• We studied only one genetic marker, the HLA.

• paradoxical results were obtained: The Japanese, for example, the same as the people of Western Africa, while the Greeks are similar to Ethiopians and not the neighboring residents of the Mediterranean.

Consequently, work, lacking scientific value, should not be published. Nevertheless, these Skopjans showed unreliable results in a Greek television station, and continue to propagate the internet.

2. DNA markers and dating

The detection of biological origin for human populations has a long history. Pretty soon it seemed that we should abandon the study of morphological characteristics, because these characteristics are influenced by environmental factors and for this reason there are reliable biomarkers.
Over the past 20 years, we are glad to we have at our disposal a very reliable source of information and exceptional wealth, the sequences of bases of DNA, and even two species DNA, making it more feasible to interpret the data. This is the mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from mother to child, ie only followed maternal line, and the DNA of the Y chromosome, which passes from father to son (only males have the Y) that is followed by paternal line.

A second innovation allows the chronology, estimation that time, to which was the nearest common ancestor of two or more alternative sequences of DNA. Thus, mitochondrial DNA allows to determine the timing of migrations in prehistoric times, because each one point mutation in the molecule is equivalent to 20,180 years.

The DNA of the Y chromosome makes it possible to trace the movements of men, both historical as well as in prehistoric times. It has been found that the haplogroups of mutating every 7000 years and microsatellite markers in every 500 years. When a specific mutation found in different men, who theoretically have no affinity between them, then these men belong to the same Y chromosome haplogroup, as scientists say, and this practically means that these men share a common pre- , Pre, Pre, Pre ... Pre-grandfather.

Research objectives. The study of the inhabitants of Greece are mostly historical, linguistic and archaeological data. This article intends to approach the issue from a different perspective, since it is based on the study of genetic diversity of the people of Greece, using many different DNA markers (Figure 1). As the ultimate goal, this research is to link genetic data with historical, linguistic, archaeological, cultural, technological and paleontological data. In this way, answers are now documented on perhaps the most important issue in relation to our history: the question of identity and our home.

3. Human presence in Greece

Work were analyzed mitochondrial DNA from individuals from several geographical regions of Europe (including Greece) and Middle East in order to trace the biological origins of Europeans.

By analyzing mitochondrial DNA found that examined subjects divided into 21 groups (haplotypes) and evaluated apart for each age creation, the Middle East and Europe. Based on mathematical calculations, estimated that the DNA of Greek origin is as follows: 8% in recent years (about 3,000 years from now), 20% during the Neolithic period (9000-3000), 44% in the last upper Paleolithic era ( 14500-9000), 14.5% on average over the Paleolithic era (26,000 to 14,500 years) and a 11% in the original upper Paleolithic era (45.500 -26.000).

The main findings from the survey are:

• The Paleolithic inhabitants of Europe9 lived as hunters for at least 60,000 years, while residents in the Near East 75,000 years ago.

• 75% -80% of the current mitochondrial DNA of its inhabitants of Greece9 is Paleolithic in origin and is modeled after three migratory events (two Paleolithic and one Neolithic Age) that correspond to periods of glacier (from 50000-9000 years) 10. The most important conclusion is that the DNA of the Greeks is heavily indigenous, something that has been proposed by Professor Renfrew6 and verified by modern molecular genetic analysis.

• The remainder, 20% -25% of our DNA it has Neolithic origin9 and created over 9000 years.

The Neolithic human populations were moved from Europe to the Middle East9. It is estimated that a 5% -20% of mitochondrial DNA sequences of the present inhabitants of the Middle East has a European origin. Prospective population for this flow mitochondrial DNA are the Greeks and Phrygians.

• According to the theory of Indo-European origin of the Greeks, there was migration of populations from the north to Greece. Movements of people but not one way but both ways. The analysis of mitochondrial DNA9, but chromosome Y10, 11, show that areas of Western and Central Europe were colonized by people who migrated from the southeast Europe when the climate improved. This hypothesis is supported by the distribution of haplogroups E-M78 and J-M102 Y chromosome, which are more frequent in southern Balkans (Fig. 2) and created before 15,000 and 7900 years respectively. Modern Greek example characterized as a percentage 21.4% from sub-haplogroup C-M78 was found at lower frequencies elsewhere in Europe and marks the migration from Greece to Western Europe. The dissemination of technological, cultural innovations and products from the Balkans to Western Europe is well known and the study of DNA provides strong evidence that there were similar movements of populations, which comes to confirm the analysis of DNA. Overall, therefore, require genetic data to review the Indo-European theory on the origin of the Greeks.

4. Origins of the Neolithic Greece

The study of DNA revealed that 20% - 25% of the DNA of the inhabitants of Greece has Neolithic origins. It is well known that the earliest Neolithic settlements in Europe were discovered in Greece. Argued that the genetic roots of the current residents were formed by mixing the local indigenous populations Paleolithic Neolithic settlers. To check whether or not the case, beyond the traditional methodologies, eg archeology, used DNA analysis to investigate how, when and where they came from these people, the Neolithic period in eastern Europe and which roads they used to travel.

To explore these questions, we studied the DNA of the chromosome Y4 10.11 in samples from people coming from Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia. In a study mas4, DNA from blood samples of 193 men from Crete and 171 blood samples of men from mainland Greece, living in communities with known Neolithic settlements. They are located in New Izmit (near Veria) Sesklo and Dimini (area of Volos), the Cave of the fence (around Kranidi) and Lerna in the Argolid prefecture.

Moving men and women. The first interesting question was whether, in the Neolithic period, people came to Greece by land or sea11. The absence of a specific genetic constitution (the J2b-M12), residents of neighboring areas on the Bosphorus, suggests that Neolithic people of Greece came mainly by sea using boats4. Travel by sea men might be interpreted by the fact that sailors were predominantly male. Conversely, women moved mainly by land.

Comparison of DNA Greece Italia11. The archaeological excavations in southern Italy revealed several Neolithic settlements. Moreover, it is known that these areas were colonized in historical times by Greeks. The results showed that the contribution of the Greeks (the samples from the Peloponnese) in the DNA of the Y chromosome is 7% of men and 22% in Calabria, Puglia.

Neolithic inhabitants of Crete, mainland Greece. The results of DNA analysis of Y chromosome population of Crete4 showed that it ranked with the people of Anatolia, while samples from the areas of the mainland classified with Balkan populations. Therefore, genetic effects seem to support the theory that the Neolithic inhabitants of Crete came from Anatolia. Of course, our studies with other genetic markers showed that the Neolithic people came to mainland Greece from Anatolia.

Noteworthy is the case of samples from Lerna / Fence Cave in the Peloponnese, which show affinities with the population of Crete. This probably reflects the geographical interaction between the people of Crete and the Peloponnese. Indeed, it could indicate the post-colonization of Crete in 1100 BC by people from mainland Greece, as represented by the index mononoukleotidiko V13. The existence of this index was found with a frequency of 35% in Thessaly and the Peloponnese, while the incidence in Crete as low as 7% and shows the continental contribution to genetic variants of the Y chromosome found in Crete. The percentage contribution of the Greek mainland to Crete is estimated to be around 20%.

The chronology of the spread of simple-group J2a1h-M319 in Crete is estimated to have occurred around 3100 BC The significance of these results are provocative in archeology. The chronology of 3100 years BC is very important for historians, since it marks the boundary between the Neolithic and Bronze Age Crete, a period associated with a number of significant changes in the organization of social services, demographics, cultural goods, technology, iconography and the funeral ritual. Many researchers have suggested that the arrival of new population was responsible for signaling these changes, a socio-cultural uplift from which sprang the famed Minoan civilization. The new striking features associated with the early Bronze Age in Crete, have been associated ways, eg be due to colonization of Greece and especially Crete from Egypt / Libya, Syria / Palestine, or the eastern Aegean / Anatolia. In connection with the assumption that the Minoan culture due to colonization by Egypt and Libya, the majority of haplogroups E3b1-M78 is characterized by mononoukleotidiko Index V13, both in Crete and mainland Greece, while in the samples analyzed from Egypt not found this single nucleotide polymorfismos4. This result shows that there has been recent genetic contact between Egypt and Crete and mainland Greece. In other words, the Greek place not inhabited by residents of Egypt. Instead, the results of DNA analysis in fact provide evidence in support of population movements from Anatolia.

These results put the gravestone on the afrocentric theory of "Black Athena", delivered by Martin Bernal2 and recently Skopjans1.

In addition, the Y chromosome DNA of Greeks was investigated by 6 different research groups were 925 men. From a thorough study of the data reveals that the genetic composition of the Greeks at a rate of 99.5% is Caucasian (white). The contribution that the genetic makeup of the Greeks and other groups (blacks or Mongolians) is a minimal percentage (less than 0.5%).

5. DNA data and age of the Greek language4

Genetic data contribute to the serious conflicts that are on aegean history. Ie in the process of mycenaeation of Cretan society, at the end of the Bronze Age. Somewhere in the middle of the 15th century BC, Crete was a series of important socio-economic changes, as evidenced by the adoption of the first mainland-Greek Linear B tablets, the burial practices, iconography and cultural goods. These cultural transformations have been interpreted by many scientists as people move to Crete from mainland Greece and especially the region of Mycenae. The data from DNA analysis of Y chromosome can be regarded as additional evidence that some of these changes, the Late Bronze Age, actually due to move / descent continental human populations. On the other hand, it could be argued, since the language of the Cretan Minoan era was Greek, the Greek language was formulated long ago, and since it is possible to develop an oral formulation at the same time as writing. Therefore, the Greek language was formulated long ago and perhaps the formatting of dates to the time of formation of Neolithic settlements in Sesklo and Dimini3, 4, 7, ie the seventh millennium BC

6. Bibliography

1. Arnaiz-Villena A. et al. (2001). HLA genes in Macedonians and the sub-Saharan origin of the Greeks, Tissue Antigens 57, 118.

2. Bernal M. (1987). Black Athena, Volume 1. The Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization. Volume I. The fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

3. Gray RD & Atkinson QD (2003). Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin. Nature 426: 435.

4. King R. et al. (2007). Differential Y-chromosome Anatolian influences on the Greek and Cretan Neolithic. Annals of Human Genetics 72: 205.

5. Rellos M. (2000). Theories about the origin of the Greeks, C Panhellenic Conference on Philosophy "Athens & ESPERIA, University of Athens.

6. Renfrew C. (1972). The emergence of civilization: The Cyclades and the Aegean in the third millennium, Methuen, London.

7. Renfrew C. (1998). Word of Minos: The Minoan contribution to Mycenaean Greek and the linguistic geography of the Bronze Age Aegean. Cambridge Archaeological J. 8: 239.

8. Risch N., Piazza A. and Cavalli-Sforza L. (2002). Dropped genetics paper lacked scientific merit. Nature 415: 115.

9. Richards M. et al. (2000). Tracing European founder lineages in the Near Eastern mtDNA pool. Am. J. Human Genetics 67: 1251.

10. Semino O. et al. (2000). The genetic legacy of Palaeolithic Homo sapiens sapiens in extant Europeans: AY chromosome perspective. Science 290: 1155.

11. Semino O. et al. (2004). Origin, diffusion and differentiation of Y-chromosome haplogroups E and J: inferences on the Neolithization of Europe and later migratory events in the Mediterranean area. Amer. J. Human Genetics 74: 1023.

* Emeritus Professor of Genetics and Human Genetics - Department of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, tel 2310 998309, email: triant@bio.auth.gr

Edited by Hellenas, Jan 3 2012, 02:20 AM.
Carleton Stevens Coon "...since from the mythical days of the Argonauts to the present, neither the peninsula of Hellas nor Ionia and the Aegean Islands have been large enough to hold the far-wandering Hellenes."
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Ben Eliah
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Hi there,

I would like to know in which scientific magazine the above study has been published.

Please provide full references and numbers. I would like to track down for more information.

...dr. Triantafullidis is the well known professor who took part in a study conducted by 6 universities, proving that the Minoan civilization has its influences on populations originated from Anatolia, and that the first Cretan inhabitants were for from Anatolia and Levant area? You can check it out here.


Waiting for your prompt response.

Edited by Ben Eliah, Feb 11 2013, 10:14 PM.
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Feb 11 2013, 09:59 PM
Hi there,

I would like to know in which scientific magazine the above study has been published.

Please provide full references and numbers. I would like to track down for more information.

...dr. Triantafullidis is the well known professor who took part in a study conducted by 6 universities, proving that the Minoan civilization has its influences on populations originated from Anatolia, and that the first Cretan inhabitants were for from Anatolia and Levant area? You can check it out here.


Waiting for your prompt response.

I think you'll never have your answer :lol:
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