January 22, 2012

Annnouncement of study claiming that Baztanese are genetically continuous since at least 6000 years ago

Sorginetxoa dolmen (Baztan) (source)
Sadly enough the paper does not seem to be available anywhere yet but it was announced on Thursday to the press that a new study by the BIOMICs department of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), the same who delivered the recent research on the genetics of the Basque diaspora, claims to have found that modern Baztanese (and by extension modern Basques) are direct descendants of the people living there 6000 years ago (and maybe even earlier). 

From what has been published in the media, the conclusions appear to be an exercise of molecular-clock speculation but it's also possible that rare lineages have been detected or that the authors are linking the results of their research with aDNA extracted elsewhere.

In any case I must remain cautious until the study is effectively published. This is just a heads up for whatever it may come.

Sources (all in Spanish):
Thanks to Neandertalerin for the mention.


  1. Thanks for the heads up. It is will interesting to see the reasoning involved and the margins of error involved.

    Six thousand years ago, of course, would be 4000 BCE or so, which would be contemporaneous with the ealry megalithic culture and pre-date Bell Beaker in Iberia.

    I'll be particularly interested to see if it uses a method that tracks the most recent common ancestor of private Basque genetic markers, which could conceivably have an origin in proto-Basque populations outside Iberia (if any) or if it is based on ancient DNA in the locality, or if it has some other methodology.

  2. You're welcome!

    I hope we'll hear something more about it soon. It seems interesting but I'm surprised as there's no article anywhere...

  3. I realize now that the papers I mentioned here and here are the ones announced in this press conference. Martínez-Cruz (lead author in one and co-author in the other) is the head of Basque Uni's BIOMIC's department.

  4. I correct: the BIOMIC's head is Dr. Martínez de Pancorbo, not Martínez Cruz. So no, the paper has yet to be published AFAIK.


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