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Phoenician Dna

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  • Phoenician Dna

    The National Geographic Phoenician-Lebanon Project has apparently identified a distinctive Phoenician dna pattern (haplotype?). From their earlier announcements I presume it is a J2 pattern. The pattern was only found in Mediterranean areas settled by Phoenicians but not in other Mediterranean areas. I haven't seen the article but it is online at the American Journal of Human Genetics. The study was mentioned on MSNBC but there was no mention at the NG site.
    Last edited by josh w.; 30 October 2008, 06:55 PM.

  • #2
    Found the article online. The NG project identified six different Phoenician haplotype patterns which they termed Phoenician Colonization Signals or PCSs.The patterns were mainly J2 but there were some elements of J1 and the old E3b. They could distinguish between Phoenician patterns and Greek colonization patterns.
    One of my concerns is that for understandable political reasons the project did not include any Jewish samples despite the fact that Israel and Phoenicia were both part of Canaan. Without any direct comparisons the study did suggest that Jews may share some of the PCSs.


    • #3

      I thought one of Solomon's swift moves, allegedly, was a trading alliance with Phonecia, as the result of which he tapped into their trading network and sent representatives to their outposts. Or did I dream that?


      • #4
        and so I guess the question would be

        what would be the expected "Jewish" markers different from the expected "Phonecian"?


        • #5
          Dienekes has a scathing review of the paper on his blog:
          It has been several years since the inception of the Genographic project, and to say that the quantity and quality of the work produced by i...

          I have not yet read Zalloua's paper.



          • #6
            Scathing and persuasive

            I just read the blog. While setting out to raise 4 most critical points it raises a great many questions, it seems to me, of broader implication than the specific subject matter of J2's origin. One of the critique's points is that the movement of DNA should be more properly tied to historical events than prehistoric. This is asserted rather than argued, but it is an interesting point of view.


            • #7
              What about Phoenician autosomal dna?
              My top match is to Syria. DNA Tribes doesn't have a Lebanon or Palestinian population.


              • #8
                But there are problems with the blog as well. What is the basis for the claim that Lebanese are really Arabs. Did Jewish J2 come from Arabia or did Arabs hop over Israel to get to Lebanon.. This kind of dubious claim emerges when the geography of ancient Canaan is ignored. The historical record suggests that the Levant was settled before Arabia was significantly populated. The NG project results also suggest more of an Arabian influence among Lebanese Muslims than Christians. However the record also suggests that J1 and J2 were present before Muslim expansion. Any explanation of Lebanese dna patterns must also consider Jewish patterns.
                Last edited by josh w.; 31 October 2008, 02:02 PM.


                • #9
                  My reply was gobbled by the cyberspace gremlin

                  challenging me to make it briefer, no doubt.

                  Good point.

                  What is the basis of his almost unspoken assertion that they are all greek? That may be an over broad characterization but it seem to me not unreasonably implied.

                  After several months of lurking about this and other forum sites I still wonder how much we can say with confidence without systematic sampling of the graves in otherwise identified and validated strata.


                  • #10
                    To clarify my point. I agree with Dienekes that some Lebanese (and Jewish) J2 may be of Greek or Roman origin. However it is a stretch to suggest that most of it is. But his point about Lebanese being Arabs (and mainly J1) seems to imply that this is the case.
                    A more likely explanation is that the Lebanese J2 came directly from its supposed point of origin in the Middle East. I realize that anecdotal data is very limited but permit my self indulgence. My J2 pattern falls within the Kurdish Modal Haplotype cluster, i.e. that is where it originated. Over 90% of my STR matches are Jewish as am I. I have no Greek or Italian matches but I have one 12/12 and one 11/12 Lebanese match at FTDNA, despite the fact that there are more Greeks and Italians in FTDNA's database.. At the National Geographic Phoenician project I have two 10/11 matches and am a 5/6 match (infinite alleles) to the Phoenician PCS5 haplotyope. As far as I can tell, all of my Lebanese matches are Maronite Christians who were presumably there before the Crusades.
                    Last edited by josh w.; 31 October 2008, 07:31 PM.