January 10, 2013

Ancient DNA comparison supports continuity in the Basque Country

Before we get too ecstatic, I must clarify that the ancient DNA is Neolithic from Santimamiñe (previously discussed here) and that the information released so far (local conference with press coverage) is not just way too little but also very imprecise. 

Dr. Marian Martínez de Pancorbo presented these findings yesterday in Gernika, capital of Urdaibai district where Santimamiñe cave is located, as culmination of a genetic study of modern locals from rural municipalities immediate to the famous cave (Kortezubi, Nabarniz, Ereño and Gautegiz-Arteaga). What she said is all but clear: the residents of past and present keep relation among them but...

... the lineages are not exactly the same because they are gradually lost in the course of generations. It is something normal, that also happens with surnames, which change along time. 

She announced that her team will publish soon the results in two prestigious publications from the USA. Naturally I can't wait to get my hands on them (with the additional personal thrill of part of my family, albeit the patrilineage, coming from that area, just a few kilometers from said cave) but will have to wait.

Martínez de Pancorbo is also working in the other extreme of the Basque Country, seeking to find if the massacred inhabitants of Metal Ages La Hoya town, surely the areal capital for some time, are directly related to those of nearby Biasteri (Laguardia).

Sources[es]: El Correo, Pileta



From previous related entries:


pre-Neolithic mtDNA in Northern Iberia (several sources)


Some ancient mtDNA of Basque Country and Cantabria
(each letter indicates one sequence,
Linazeta and La Braña were not known to the authors)

Actually it had already been found a bit earlier in the Basque Country (but I did not know till later) and would be later sequenced in Karelia; it's probably also found in other (Epi-)Paleolithic localities from Morocco to Russia via Britain (but some people have been in denial on this issue).

2 comments:

  1. "... the lineages are not exactly the same because they are gradually lost in the course of generations. It is something normal, that also happens with surnames, which change along time".

    Not so long ago you were adamant that such change could not happen. Offspring haplogroups could not replace parent haplogroups because they would always be a minority at first and so would be drifted out. So Basques have behaved different from everybody else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually more than a bit perplex at this choice of words and would like to read the papers as soon as they come out to clarify my many doubts. Meanwhile that's what Martínez de Pancorbo apparently said.

      Delete

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