Haber et al Lebanon Data

Haber et al published a paper Genome-Wide Diversity in the Levant Reveals Recent Structuring by Culture in PLoS Genetics. Here's their abstract:

The Levant is a region in the Near East with an impressive record of continuous human existence and major cultural developments since the Paleolithic period. Genetic and archeological studies present solid evidence placing the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula as the first stepping-stone outside Africa. There is, however, little understanding of demographic changes in the Middle East, particularly the Levant, after the first Out-of-Africa expansion and how the Levantine peoples relate genetically to each other and to their neighbors. In this study we analyze more than 500,000 genome-wide SNPs in 1,341 new samples from the Levant and compare them to samples from 48 populations worldwide. Our results show recent genetic stratifications in the Levant are driven by the religious affiliations of the populations within the region. Cultural changes within the last two millennia appear to have facilitated/maintained admixture between culturally similar populations from the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, and Africa. The same cultural changes seem to have resulted in genetic isolation of other groups by limiting admixture with culturally different neighboring populations. Consequently, Levant populations today fall into two main groups: one sharing more genetic characteristics with modern-day Europeans and Central Asians, and the other with closer genetic affinities to other Middle Easterners and Africans. Finally, we identify a putative Levantine ancestral component that diverged from other Middle Easterners ~23,700–15,500 years ago during the last glacial period, and diverged from Europeans ~15,900–9,100 years ago between the last glacial warming and the start of the Neolithic.

They also released their data consisting of 75 Lebanese from different regions of the country, with 25 samples each for Muslims, Druze and Christians.

Here are the HarappaWorld admixture results for the Lebanese.

You can check the spreadsheet too.

As the authors mention in the summary:

Population stratification caused by nonrandom mating between groups of the same species is often due to geographical distances leading to physical separation followed by genetic drift of allele frequencies in each group. In humans, population structures are also often driven by geographical barriers or distances; however, humans might also be structured by abstract factors such as culture, a consequence of their reasoning and self-awareness. Religion in particular, is one of the unusual conceptual factors that can drive human population structures. This study explores the Levant, a region flanked by the Middle East and Europe, where individual and population relationships are still strongly influenced by religion. We show that religious affiliation had a strong impact on the genomes of the Levantines. In particular, conversion of the region's populations to Islam appears to have introduced major rearrangements in populations' relations through admixture with culturally similar but geographically remote populations, leading to genetic similarities between remarkably distant populations like Jordanians, Moroccans, and Yemenis. Conversely, other populations, like Christians and Druze, became genetically isolated in the new cultural environment. We reconstructed the genetic structure of the Levantines and found that a pre-Islamic expansion Levant was more genetically similar to Europeans than to Middle Easterners.

the Lebanese can be grouped better based on religion than region. That's why I am using group averages by religion.

Related Reading:

Related Posts:

45 Comments.

  1. I am surprised that all of them lack (Med) component and are mostly part of the (Caucasian) component. So how exactly different they are from Greeks or Italians?

  2. It seems there is above noise level genetic difference between the average Muslim and the average non-Muslim (Christians and the Druze, excluding Jews) of Lebanon, but it is not much, certainly not in a level enough to make recognizable difference on the phenotypes.

    Muslims of Lebanon are clearly more cosmopolitan being more receptive of the outside genetic influences of the last 1400 years. They even seem to have more Crusader DNA than non-Muslims of Lebanon do, as according to these results they on average possess 2% "NE Euro" component (though it is necessarily totally from Crusaders) while non-Muslims lack that component.

    Non-Muslims of Lebanon, on the other hand, seem to be a snapshot of the pre-Islamic era genetics of the Levant.

    • Lebanese Muslims NE Euro could be a Turkish influence as the Muslim Lebanese scored 1% on the Siberian component while the non Muslims didn't. Usually elevated Asian in Turks also result with elevated North European.

      • Turks do not have elevated "NE Euro" component compared to their neighbors, as their average "NE Euro" level is, in accordance with their geography, higher than those of Cypriots, Armenians, Azeris, Georgians, Kurds, Iranians, Assyrians and northern Arabs and lower than those of Bulgarians and Greeks (Greeks are not included in the Harappa Project but all available average results of Greeks from other genetic projects unambiguously point to that). But it is true that the "NE Euro" component in the Muslim Lebanese can at least partially be from a possible minor Turkish admixture.

        • Oh really, take a look again. The Turkish average for the NE European component is 7% while for Armenians its 3%. Assyrian its 2%. In other projects such as eurogenes and dodecad Turks Northern European component is higher than the surrounding populations. Individually looking at Turkish results as the Asian score rises so does the Northern European component.

          • Armenians and Assyrians are not the only neighbors of Turks, Bulgarians and Greeks are their neighbors too.

          • Armenians and Assyrians are not the only neighbors of Turks; Bulgarians and Greeks are their neighbors too.

          • Also, the Turks with the highest "NE Euro" component are certainly not the ones with the highest Mongoloid components.

          • Also, the Turks with the highest "NE Euro" component are certainly not the ones with the highest Mongoloid components.

            Looking at individual scores rather than group averages shows that clearly.

          • Im talking about ANATOLIAN Turks not Balkan Turks. Greeks are not Anatolians. Of course the Greeks and Bulgarians will score higher NE Euro and of course Balkan Turks will score higher NE Euro. I am comparing Anatolian populations not Europeans. Anatolians dont have significant NE European.

          • Anatolians dont have significant NE European.

            How do you know that? Have you seen any Anatolian Greek result?

          • There is Pontic Greek ( Rum) who took the test and his results were identical with the Armenian average. He did not score any extra ordinary European.

          • There is Pontic Greek ( Rum) who took the test and his results were identical with the Armenian average. He did not score any extra ordinary European.

            Modern-day Pontic Greeks are mostly from the eastern part of Pontus. The eastern Pontus region is geographically adjacent to the historical Armenia and lies on the easternmost part of Anatolia. People of eastern Pontus, whether Muslim or Christian, form a separate genetic cluster from those of Anatolians proper, whether Muslim or Christian, in Dodecad analyses. Anatolians proper in general seem to have higher "NE Euro" and the like than those of people from eastern Pontus.

            BTW, did the Pontic Greek individual take the test via DIY HarappaWorld?

          • Only Turks with Balkan ancestry score significant Northern Euro, Greeks likewise. There are hardly any Anatolian Greeks, most are mixd with mainland Greeks. This is not something new, I'm sure there has always been intermingling between mainland and Anatolian Greeks. But from other samples I have seen those Greeks who are at least 1/2 Anatolian Greek score higher on the West Asian component. When it comes to Anatolian Turks its not a coinsidence that the higher the Asian component the higher the Northern European component. Anatolian Turks who score less Asian also score less North Euro.

            The Pontic Greek tested from 23andme. I have access to all his admixture results from various projects. He appears Armenian like genetically.

          • Only Turks with Balkan ancestry score significant Northern Euro, Greeks likewise. There are hardly any Anatolian Greeks, most are mixd with mainland Greeks. This is not something new, I'm sure there has always been intermingling between mainland and Anatolian Greeks. But from other samples I have seen those Greeks who are at least 1/2 Anatolian Greek score higher on the West Asian component. When it comes to Anatolian Turks its not a coinsidence that the higher the Asian component the higher the Northern European component. Anatolian Turks who score less Asian also score less North Euro.

            Do you know the ratios of Anatolian and Balkan genealogical origins in the mixed Greek samples? If not, what you say about Greeks of Anatolia proper is speculation.

            The Pontic Greek tested from 23andme. I have access to all his admixture results from various projects. He appears Armenian like genetically.

            As I said, that is nothing unexpected from a Pontic Greek. Greeks of Anatolia proper are another issue.

          • If not, what you say about Greeks of Anatolia proper is speculation.

            So is what you say about Turks of Anatolia proper.

    • so your judging Muslims and Christians are different from these numbers? there are hardly any differences between the two to make these conclusion

      • This is what I wrote:

        "It seems there is above noise level genetic difference between the average Muslim and the average non-Muslim (Christians and the Druze, excluding Jews) of Lebanon, but it is not much, certainly not in a level enough to make recognizable difference on the phenotypes."

        I cannot see anything wrong in what I wrote.

        • this is what you wrote"

          "Muslims of Lebanon are clearly more cosmopolitan being more receptive of the outside genetic influences of the last 1400 years. They even seem to have more Crusader DNA than non-Muslims of Lebanon do, as according to these results they on average possess 2% "NE Euro" component (though it is necessarily totally from Crusaders) while non-Muslims lack that component.

          Non-Muslims of Lebanon, on the other hand, seem to be a snapshot of the pre-Islamic era genetics of the Levant"

          how are you making these conclusions when the differences are hardly more then 2-3%?

          • Based on the rounded group scores, the sum of the differences between the Lebanese Christian average and the Lebanese Muslim average is 16% and the sum of the differences between the Lebanese Druze average and the Lebanese Muslim average is 11% while the sum of the differences between the Lebanese Christian average and the Lebanese Druze average is only 7%. All these total rounded difference levels are well above noise levels, especially those between the Muslim Lebanese and the non-Muslim Lebanese. Taken together with what we know from the history and the genetics of the wider region, these results strongly support my conclusions.

  3. Sorry made a mistake for Assyrians NE Eurro is 1% not 2%.

    • Im talking about ANATOLIAN Turks not Balkan Turks. Greeks are not Anatolians. Of course the Greeks and Bulgarians will score higher NE Euro and of course Balkan Turks will score higher NE Euro. I am comparing Anatolian populations not Europeans. Anatolians dont have significant NE European.

      • Anatolians dont have significant NE European.

        How do you know that? Have you seen any Anatolian Greek result?

  4. "Consequently, Levant populations today fall into two main groups: one sharing more genetic characteristics with modern-day Europeans and Central Asians, and the other with closer genetic affinities to other Middle Easterners and Africans."
    By Central Asian, they mean the HGDP Pakistani populations. If you go through various academic papers in which the HGDP data-set is utilized, and in which there is a "tree" used to display genetic distance, you will notice one finding over and over again. European and Pakistani populations are always grouped together, to the exclusion of the HGDP Southwest Asian populations (the Druze are often an exception to this, but not always). ChromoPainter/FineStructure analyses also produce this result. Here are a few papers in which you can see this for yourself.

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1003447
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1303.7475v1.pdf (no tree, but they find that Pakistani and European populations cluster together, to the exclusion of Southwest Asians)
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0049438
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5866/1100.full.pdf
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002453

    And, of course, the paper referenced above by Zack. I have a tentative suggestion. Perhaps the African ancestry in Southwest Asians and North Africans is the reason for the greater divergence between them and other "West Eurasians". In addition, European populations have substantial "East Eurasian-American" admixture, which in a general sense resembles the "East Eurasian" admixture (or, if you prefer, "South Eurasian" admixture) in the HGDP Pakistani samples. Not quite sure, but I think this is plausible. Nevertheless, I have never analyzed the data myself, so I don’t take myself very seriously on this topic.

  5. Could the South Asian samples be noise or could they actually be from the remnants of the ancient Hittites and Mitanni's? Not sure what I can make of it.

    • Hittites have nothing to do with South Asia.

      • ''Hittites have nothing to do with South Asia.''
        What makes you so sure?.

        • Hittites are as related to South Asia as Greeks or Armenians are. So there is nothing unusual in saying "Hittites have nothing to do with South Asia''.

          • Do you have the ancient DNA structure of the Hittites? and Linguistically course they are related.....

          • Do you have the ancient DNA structure of the Hittites? and Linguistically course they are related.....

            Linguistically, Hittites and speakers of the other Anatolian branch IE languages are probably less related with Indo-Aryans than speakers of all the other known IE languages are with Indo-Aryans, as the Anatolian branch IE languages, of which the Hittite language is a member, are the most divergent of the known IE languages.

            As for the ancient DNA, there is currently no analyzed Hittite DNA to my knowledge. But there are cranial studies of Hittites. They show Hittites to be a typical northern West Asian people.

          • ''Linguistically, Hittites and speakers of the other Anatolian branch IE languages are probably less related with Indo-Aryans than speakers of all the other known IE languages are with Indo-Aryans, as the Anatolian branch IE languages, of which the Hittite language is a member, are the most divergent of the known IE languages.''
            Please do not try to win me with Linguistics! If you think you have enough knowledge on the subject of linguistics and what its reality is which you think is with your supported theory then get your answers from this scholar-
            http://new-indology.blogspot.in/
            ''As for the ancient DNA, there is currently no analyzed Hittite DNA to my knowledge. But there are cranial studies of Hittites. They show Hittites to be a typical northern West Asian people.''
            Dude, similar skeleton studies on IVC bones have shown them to be no-different with modern N.Indians, they are not decisive and subject to deformation but aDNA is a different dish.....

          • ^ Hittite and the other Anatolian branch IE languages are phylogenetically the most divergent of all the known IE languages:

            http://rootsofeurope.ku.dk/billeder/blokseminarer_gaesteforelaesninger/2009-07-14_heggarty_alternativ_stamtraesmodel.bmp/

            http://labs.bio.unc.edu/Hurlbert/langtree.htm

            As for the craniometric data, yes, they are not as decisive as ancient DNA data, but they give some useful information about population relationships, however roughly.

          • ''^ Hittite and the other Anatolian branch IE languages are phylogenetically the most divergent of all the known IE languages:
            http://rootsofeurope.ku.dk/billeder/blokseminarer_gaesteforelaesninger/2009-07-14_heggarty_alternativ_stamtraesmodel.bmp/
            http://labs.bio.unc.edu/Hurlbert/langtree.htm''
            Dude, did you misjudged what i said? bring those links and other infos to the expert i linked you will get the best answers!

            ''As for the craniometric data, yes, they are not as decisive as ancient DNA data, but they give some useful information about population relationships, however roughly.''
            aDNA is trustable.....
            Good Day.

    • This is possible to be honest. The Mittani language is closer to Indic than say Iranic. Even gods like India and Varuna are Indo aryan gods. The Mittani probably came straight from BMAC, but who knows they may have come from a coastal area of India. But you will need to assume that the indo Europeans came to India earlier than presumed.
      Another possibility is that BMAC indo Europeans already had the South Indian component. The BMAC only became indo European later on due to the Andronovo influence.

      • Thanks for laughing me.....

      • I still don't get it. What do the Hittites and Mittani have to do with anything? I was pointing out how Southwest Asians constitute an outgroup to the HGDP Pakistanis and European populations (by Southwest Asian, I mean all of the HGDP Middle Eastern populations. Although the Druze have a more complicated relationship to this result. Depending on the paper, they either cluster with other Southwest Asians, or cluster with the Pakistani and European populations).

        • I think the reason for that is because Central asian genetics have changed after the invasion by mongols and perhaps Turks, they are more east asian now, if you go a thousand years back, when central asia was more caucasian, I think there would be a cline from Europe all the way to Pakistan

          • Central Asian genetics began to change in an East Asian direction during the Iron Age (=the Scythian/Saka era) at the latest. The Turkic expansion of the 1st millennium CE significantly accelerated the transition to a more genetically East Asian genetics in Central Asia. The Mongol invasion was only the last phase of the transition to a more East Asian genetics in Central Asia.

          • Central Asian genetics began to change in an East Asian direction during the Iron Age (=the Scythian/Saka era) at the latest. The Turkic expansion of the 1st millennium CE significantly accelerated the transition to a more East Asian genetics in Central Asia. The Mongol invasion was only the last phase of the transition to a more East Asian genetics in Central Asia.

  6. I don't quite understand what you mean?

  7. @ZD,

    Why are not mentioning the fact that Cypriot Greeks on average possess 6% "NE Euro" component, only 2% or 3% below the "NE Euro" average of Cappadocian Turks (Turks of Behar et al. are Cappadocian Turks with a "NE Euro" avg of 9%, there is also the Kayseri Turkish sample with a "NE Euro" avg of 8%)? Cyprus is geographically expected to possess less "NE Euro" than Cappadocia, so the Cappadocian Turkish "NE Euro" scores are not unusual for their geography.

    • BTW, Kayseri (formerly Caesarea in Cappadocia) is in Cappadocia.

      • If you look at samples of Central Asians they also show elevated North European admixture, North European in Anatolian Turks is an obvious Turkic influence since it also lacks in other West Asians.

    • @Onur,

      I feel like you have a complex. When you look at Turks North Euro score also observe their Asian scores, as Asian elevates so does North Euro. I don't know why you are ignoring the Asian score? We have samples of other Turks who have been tested and we have their ancestral location listed too. North Eastern Turks score the least Asian and also score less on North European, they are predominantly West Asian.Turks from central Anatolia, Western parts, and Southern Turkery score higher Asian and also more North European admixture. Cypriots Turks,Balkan Turks and Anatolian Turks all show different admixture proportions. Turks from Anatolia resemble Anatolians, Balkan Turks resemble Balkanians, Cypriot Turks resemble other Cypriots the only difference is Turks show Turkic influence and that even changes from person to person.

  8. @ZD,

    I have no complex. I am just a very inquisitive person. I never ignored the Mongoloid scores, but I just do not see a correlation between the Mongoloid component and the "NE Euro" component scores of Anatolian Turks. Correlation only exists if you include NE Anatolian Turks among Anatolian Turks. But NE Anatolia apparently has a different pre-Turkish genetic substratum from that of Anatolia proper in general, as even Greeks of NE Anatolia in general seem to be genetically different from Greeks of Anatolia proper. They genetically seem to be more Armenian-like (e.g., lower "NE Euro" scores) than Greeks of Anatolia proper are in accordance with geography. Also, NE Anatolia was conquered by Turks centuries later than Anatolia proper was, so by the time Turks arrived in NE Anatolia they had already been genetically mostly Anatolian. As a result, the real Turkic input in NE Anatolia is in general more diminished than that of Anatolia proper.

    BTW, there are apparently some Balkan Turks or Anatolian Turks with significant Balkan Turkish admixture in the Aydin Turkish sample, they elevate the average "NE Euro" score and lower the average Mongoloid component scores of that Turkish sample. The indigenous Aydin Turks are the most Turkic-admixed Turks I have seen, probably because of the historically significant yoruk (=nomadic Turk) presence in that area. The Istanbul Turkish sample is, expectedly, more cosmopolitan than the other academic Turkish samples so that Turks in it are genetically more varied, coming from different regions of Anatolia and the Balkans.